The study of religion at Case Western Reserve University is multicultural, non-sectarian and interdisciplinary. As appropriate, courses are designed to utilize Internet resources, cultural institutions in University Circle and the cultural diversity of greater Cleveland. A major in Religion provides a well-rounded liberal arts education or can be combined conveniently with a second major. Minors or sequences in Religion complement and broaden any field chosen as a major.
The academic study of religion provides an excellent background for a variety of professional careers-including law, engineering, medicine and health care delivery, journalism, and social work -and for graduate studies in a number of fields. The Department of Religious Studies also contributes courses to and supports a number of the College's interdisciplinary programs such as Asian Studies, Women's Studies, Environmental Studies, Judaic studies and International Studies.
Students interested in a Religion major, minor, or sequence should contact Professor Peter Haas, Phone: 368-2741; E-Mail: email@example.com
Major and Minor
(NEW REQUIREMENTS AS OF FALL SEMESTER, 2008)
Students majoring in Religious Studies must complete at least 30 credit hours of course work, distributed as follows:
1. RLGN 102 (“Introduction to the Study of Religion”) [3 credit hours] . This course will introduce the student to various approaches to the academic study of religion, including (but not limited to) sociological approaches, cultural/anthropological approaches and psychological approaches. In addition the course will introduce the students to at least four different religious traditions.
2. At least seven courses [21 credit hours] dealing with the academic study of religion. The course selection will be determined in consultation with the student’s major advisor and should display some diversity in themes and topics. Up to six of these hours may be taken outside of the Department of Religious Studies provided such courses relate to the overall character of the major.
3. RLGN 299-399 sequence [6 credit hours]. Prerequisite for 299 is RLGN 102 plus 9 additional RLGN credit hours. RLGN 299, offered in the fall, is a prerequisite for RLGN 399 and prepares the student for a significant and carefully researched project to be completed and presented during the second semester in RLGN 399.
NEW DEPARTMENTAL HONORS
Students who are majoring in religion and who have an overall grade point average of 3.5 and also a grade point average of 3.5 in religion courses may apply for the Departmental honors program. Such students should take RLGN 299 in the Fall semester and RLGN 395 (instead of RLGN 399) in the Spring semester of their senior year. During the fall semester, the student will work with an honors advisor to prepare a proposal to be approved by the department not later than the end of the first semester. Departmental honors are awarded upon completion and satisfactory defense of the senior project in front of a faculty committee, provided that the required grade point averages are maintained.
A minor in Religious Studies is earned by completing at least 18 credit hours, to include the following:
- RLGN 102 [3 credit hours]: Introduction to the Study of Religion;
- Nine hours of electives chosen in consultation with a departmental advisor. The courses should demonstrate diversity in the study of religion;
- RLGN 299-399 sequence [6 credit hours]: Theories and Methods - Major/Minor Seminar.
The following RLGN courses fulfill the SAGES Global and Cultural Diversity requirement:
- RLGN 204, 208, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 223, 233, 254, 280 and 303.
Students who are majoring in religion and who have an overall grade point average of 3.5 and also a grade point average of 3.5 in religion courses may apply for the Departmental honors program. Honors candidates enroll for RLGN 299 and RLGN 394 in the Fall and RLGN 395 in the Spring, usually during the senior year. A year-long honors project must be accepted by a member of the department faculty and the student's application must be approved by the department, upon demonstration of satisfactory progress, not later than the end of the first semester. Departmental honors are awarded upon satisfactory completion, defense, and acceptance of the senior honors project by a faculty committee, provided that the required grade point averages are maintained.
- RLGN 102: Introduction to the Study of Religion (3 hours)
- RLGN 399/499: Majors/Minors Seminar (repeatable for up to 6 hours).
- Three courses in one of the three areas described below (9 hours)
- One course in each of the other two areas (6 hours)
- Electives (6-9 hours) to develop interdisciplinary competency; may be fulfilled by taking courses in other departments relevant to their area of concentration.
For a list of Religion courses by area of concentration, click here: Courses and Areas of Concentration
Area 1: Religious Texts and Traditions
These courses encourage critical reflection on the methods and theories employed to study religious texts and traditions. Interpretive perspectives include those drawn from the academic study of religion and other disciplines in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
Area 2: Religion and Culture
Courses which examine how religious discourses and practices are interwoven into larger webs of culture. Through analysis of a wide range of cultural productions, both ancient and contemporary, from visual culture to popular media, these courses focus on the complex ways in which religion takes form within particular cultural contexts, and conversely, helps to form cultural artifacts.
Area 3: Religion in Society
Courses investigating the various ways that people practice their religious beliefs within their own social groups. Within this area are courses on the tensions between religion and science, on ethics, and on how religious groups affect political, economic, and social issues within local and world communities. Some courses in this area offer opportunities for working with social service and advocacy agencies in the community.
Students minoring in Religion must complete 15 semester hours of work in the Department.
- RLGN 102: Introduction to the Study of Religion (3 hours)
- RLGN 399/499: Majors/Minors Seminar (at least 3 hours).
- Nine hours of electives chosen in consultation with a departmental advisor. Must demonstrate diversity in the study of religion.