Religious Studies is the academic study of religion from a variety of perspectives, using a variety of different disciplines. In keeping with the mission of Saint Michael’s College, the Religious Studies Department offers a wide range of courses that study in-depth the Christian religious tradition, and we also offer courses in the study of Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. In addition, our courses tackle broader philosophical and cultural issues surrounding the phenomenon of religion.
Religious studies majors learn to think critically about and evaluate the claims made by various religious groups. They gain detailed knowledge about the history of the world’s religious traditions, and they are expected to develop an empathetic understanding of the world-views of others. Our graduates more fully understand the complex interplay between religion and other aspects of society, and they learn how various people both past and present have lived out their spiritual lives. Few areas of study are as relevant for understanding our twenty-first century world as the study of religion.
Many religious studies majors also double major in something else. Popular combinations are: RS and Philosophy, RS and History, RS and English, RS and Elementary Education. In addition, many students choose a minor in Religious Studies; for instance, all Journalism majors must also choose a minor in the liberal arts and sciences. Since many news organizations increasingly want expertise in religion, an RS minor is an excellent complement to a journalism degree.