Religion uses approaches from the humanities and social sciences to cast light on the diverse beliefs and practices in faith traditions of societies and cultures. Students study religious texts and explore the tension between religion, science, politics, economics, and other disciplines.
Our program gives attention to the various roles religion played and continues to play in the Black experience. We engage specific conversations and view data and phenomena in religious studies through an Afrocentric lens. Students also develop culturally sensitive ways to view diverse peoples, societies, and cultures domestically and internationally.
Students who major in religion are able to:
- Engage in informed critical self-reflection and assessment of their personal religious beliefs, language, rituals, and experiences
- Discuss respectfully and objectively the world’s religions as historical and cultural phenomena
- Express and appraise basic features of religion in the West Coast of Sub-Saharan Africa before the West Atlantic slave trade
- Analyze the history, sacred texts, fundamental beliefs, rituals, world views, and institutions of world religions ranging from African Traditional Religions and Christianity to Islam and Hinduism
- Critique the relationship between religion and the Black Experience in America. They will be able to understand the religion of the enslaved, Black Christianity, the Nation of Islam, Black-Hebrew-Israelite Jews, and other Black religious movements in America
- Articulate their ideas coherently regardless of whether it is in written or spoken form, or to an academic or professional audience
Major Course of Study Requirements
The religion degree requires 39 semester hours. Students must complete 30 hours in religion, six hours of cognate electives, and one three-hour class in speech communication. Cognate electives are courses in sociology, political science, economics, psychology, English, or in another discipline outside of religion that relates to a specific topic in religious studies. Students must select cognate electives in consultation with their academic adviser. The speech requirement is met with one of the following courses: HCOM 253, 353, 354, 355, or 360.