Updates to the CNRC Majors

We are proud to announce new catalogue descriptions for our department's majors! Our new major and minors are at the last stages of the approval process and will be available starting in Spring 2023.

Classical and Near Eastern Religions and Cultures is an interdisciplinary major with two sub-plans: CNRC and Languages and Literature. The major enables students to gain a broad and in-depth appreciation for the complexities of ancient Mediterranean religion and culture. Through exploration of ancient literature, archaeological sites, artifacts, inscriptions, and manuscripts, students learn about major historical figures (e.g., Egyptian rulers, Alexander the Great, Cicero, Socrates and Plato, Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, Roman Emperors, etc.), fascinating ancient literature (e.g., Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, the Epic of Gilgemesh, Plato’s Apology and Symposium, Euripides’s Prometheus Bound and Bacchae, poetry by Catullus and Virgil, the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, the Quran, etc.), and everyday ancient social realities (e.g., family, gender, status, economy, politics, agriculture, religious practice, sanctuaries, magic, etc.). You will also learn how to analyze ancient Mediterranean religions (Greek and Roman religion, ancient Israelite and Jewish religion, ancient Christianity and Islam).

After some initial course requirements in one of several of our larger courses, students in the CNRC sub-plan take courses in three interrelated areas: State, Self, and Social Power; Literature and Intellectual History; and Religious Discourse, Authority, and Practice. Students in the Languages and Literature subplan take specific introductory courses and then can go on to study Greek, Latin, or Modern Hebrew. The field of classical and Near Eastern religions and cultures is at the root of many varied disciplines and careers from law and communications to non-profit work and administration. Any career that requires the skills of careful, critical analysis, deep research and understanding of cultural systems, and insight into the motivations of a plurality of religious perspectives active in the world today will benefit from this major. Our professors offer a collegial and friendly yet academically rigorous environment where you can grow in these skills and bring them to your current situation and future work.

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