Goals and Objectives

> Students will learn about a number of significant religious and interreligious thinkers/practitioners, concepts, principles, traditions, material artifacts, beliefs, practices, and histories.

In particular, students will learn about:

 > the great diversity within and among religious/spiritual/soteriological traditions as well as their shared concerns and interrelations. 

> religious/spiritual/soteriological ideologies and practices that privilege some lives and communities over others and may have led to conflict with, and/or marginalization, colonization, and/or destruction of, the latter.

> religious/spiritual/soteriological ideologies, practices, and communities of solidarity, liberation,  and resistance to oppression.

> Students will develop the ability to apply key critical analytical methods, lenses, and theories, to the study of religious phenomena and their representations in a variety of contexts, media, and discourses.

> In particular, students will develop the ability to apply lenses that illuminate the intersectionality of race, class, gender, ethnicity, ability, sexuality, and other modes of social differentiation in relation to religions/religiosity.

> Students will explore the theories and methods currently used in the field of Religious Studies (including cultural-historical, sociological, anthropological, psychological, rhetorical, and theological), and learn more about where this field of study sits in relation to other Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Interdisciplinary fields of study. 

> Students will develop familiarity with religious studies as an academic field, including awareness of key concepts, fault lines/debates, and histories/legacies.

> Among key concepts are religion/religions/religious, secular, sacred, profane, fundamentalism, enlightenment, mindfulness, spirituality, salvation, etc. 

> Among fault lines/debates are those related to distinctions among categories like religious, secular, and spiritual; universalism and particularism, elite and popular, world religions and indigenous religions, etc.

> Among histories/legacies are those of Christian and white supremacy and Euro-US centrism in the field and its applications, as well as the harnessing of religious studies to projects of equity, inclusion, liberation, and greater interreligious understanding, collaboration, and mutual empowerment.

> Students will develop skills in listening, reading, researching, speaking, working collaboratively with other students, and writing, including the ability to communicate effectively and ethically about complex and controversial topics.

These skills will be honed through such practices as close reading of primary and secondary texts; research projects; community-engaged learning, public and/or in-class presentations, discussions, and debates; and written (and non-written) assignments in multiple genres.

> Students will investigate what it could mean to cultivate action, practice, and reciprocal engagement with the many communities of which we are part, including sustained reflection on one’s own positionality.

A key component of such cultivation is basic and holistic preparation for pursuing further study and/or  fulfilling careers in a variety of possible fields, including research and teaching; policy, advocacy and community work; law; ministry; medicine; cultural creation, organization, curation, and preservation.