The academic study of religion at Colby focuses on the origins and historical development of several of the world’s major religious traditions, empowering students to understand and appreciate religious diversity in the modern world. Although Religious Studies is a small department at Colby, our curriculum courses explore a variety of religions. Offering insight into Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, Buddhism, and Islam, we provide considerable exposure to complex and varied religious traditions. Moreover, we often expand the scope of our studies, fostering further religious understanding.
Through studying Judaism and Christianity, students better understand Western culture and its heritage. Similarly, Asian religions courses provide significant insight into the cultures of India, China, and Japan, among other Asian nations. In addition, exposure to Religious studies is key; students learn to study religion by scrutinizing literary traditions, archaeological remains, rituals, texts, and societal implications. By studying religion, we develop skills to help us think critically and cross-culturally, recognizing the ways in which different populations and individuals understand the world and their role in it.