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RELIGIOUS STUDIES

 

The study of religion in a college curriculum involves the historical and comparative scrutiny of the religious traditions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto. Inevitably, the examination of basic questions about religion, such as the existence and nature of God, religious experience, and the role of religion in society, are central to the discipline.

REQUIREMENTS +

Requirements for the Major in Religious Studies

A minimum of 10 courses, to include at least one from each of the following groups: Eastern religions (211, 212); Judaism and Islam (181, 182, History 285); history of Christianity (216, 236, 258, 259); biblical literature (143, 144). The 10 required courses will include three religious studies courses at the 300 level or above and a senior independent study project. The three required 300-level courses may not include courses from other departments or institutions. The senior independent study project may take one of three forms: a four-credit independent study (491 or 492) with a religious studies faculty sponsor, a two-semester project in the honors program (483, 484) described below, or a Senior Scholars project with one mentor from the religious studies faculty. As part of the culminating experience, all seniors are required to present their independent research as part of the Undergraduate Research Symposium.

The point scale for retention of the major applies to all courses that count toward the major.

Honors Program in Religious Studies

Students majoring in religious studies who have a grade point average of 3.65 or higher in the major may apply during the junior year for admission to the honors program. Proposal and bibliography must be submitted to the department chair by April 15. On successful completion of the work for the honors program, including a thesis, their graduation from the College will be noted as being “With Honors in Religious Studies.”

Requirements for the Minor in Religious Studies

A minimum of six courses in religious studies, including at least one from each of the following groups: Eastern religions (211, 212); Judaism and Islam (181, 182, History 285); history of Christianity (216, 236, 258, 259); biblical literature (143,144). The six required courses will include two religious studies courses at the 300 level or above. The two required 300-level courses may not include courses from other departments or institutions.

OTHER APPLICABLE COURSES +

Courses from other departments that can serve as electives in religious studies major

  • Anthropology
    • 354 Native American Religion and Empowerment
  • Art 
    • 313 Art of the Early Middle Ages
    • 314 Art of the High Middle Ages
    • 475 Seminar in Devotional Art
  • English 
    • 231 Tolkien’s Sources
    • 349 Modern Jewish Writing: From the Diaspora to the Modern Israeli Novel
    • 364 Buddhism in American Poetry
  • Government 
    • 251 Israelis and Palestinians: Conflict and Accommodation
    • 252 Politics of the Middle East
  • History 
    • 285 Foundations of Islam
    • 317 The Gothic Moment: Paris and the Isle-de-France, 1100-1250
    • 413 Joan of Arc: History, Legend, and Film
  • Music
    • 254 Music of Meditation
  • Philosophy
    • 114 Central Philosophical Issues: Nature and God
    • 274 Philosophy of Religion

 

Faculty

 

Colby College reserves the right in its sole judgement to make changes of any nature in its program, calendar, academic schedule, fees, deposits, or any other matters in this catalogue.