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Why Religious Studies
   at Albright?

The Religious Studies Major

Faculty

Outcomes

Student Scholarship

Courses

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OUTCOMES

The Department of Religious Studies prepares students for living in a religiously complex world by helping them to understand the diversity of religious traditions past and present. Our track record is impressive:

  • 100% of Albright religious studies students who apply are accepted to graduate school

  • 100% of Albright religious studies/secondary education students pass the PRAXIS exam

 

Student Goals and Learning Outcomes

Religious studies prepares students for living in a religiously complex world by helping them to understand the diversity of religious traditions past and present, to gauge their impact on people’s behavior, and to explore their specific contributions to personal, communal and global well-being.  The study of religion requires students to use both analytical and imaginative intellectual skills in understanding sacred texts, oral traditions, symbolic objects, rituals and ways of life.  It encourages students to connect religion to real life issues and to formulate their own judgments. Religious studies is an interdisciplinary field that includes historical research, reading and writing about texts, sociological investigation, cultural studies, philosophical inquiry and the arts.

To help students achieve these goals, courses in the Religious Studies department, alongside general studies outcomes, are also designed to achieve one or more of the following learning outcomes:

Students will learn:

  1. The basic texts, traditions, and practices of the world’s religions

  2. How religion, culture, and history all shape and influence one another; and how religions change across history and geography.

  3. How religions shape individual values, actions, and ethics.

  4. A general introduction to the methods and theories of modern religious studies scholarship, including interpretive methods.

  5. The basics of religious studies research including how to discern the difference between academic and faith-based sources; and how to write a religious studies paper.

The department wants majors and co-majors in the field of Religious Studies to be able to understand and produce scholarly discourse in Religion. Each major is required to complete a junior and senior seminar in religious studies. Junior and senior religious studies majors will be able, in that seminar, to integrate the 5 basic goals and objectives in order to:

  1. Describe constructively and accurately how religion shapes the decisions people make and enables them to maintain long-lasting meaning and structure in their lives; describe critically how religion functions constructively (functional and phenomenological theories of religion)

  2. Demonstrate how they would address these issues through contextual analyses of sacred texts (oral or written), ritual systems, and symbolic material artifacts; show how these varied forms of evidence sustain particular cultural belief systems and shape the cognitive and emotional responses of people in diverse settings (historical, ritual, and literary theories)

Careers

Albright religious studies graduates work in a variety of areas.