Track I: Religion, Culture, and Society

The religion, culture, and society track is ideal if you wish to study religion as a social and cultural force.

  • It emphasizes the methodologies of the humanities, social sciences, and arts.
  • It addresses questions of expression and practice, theology or religious thought, as well as public and social policy and the political contexts and ramifications of religion.

This track provides a solid foundation for careers serving diverse communities in public arenas, as well as graduate study in the arts, humanities, or social sciences, or in theological or seminary programs.

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Sample Track I Concentrations

The centerpiece of all Track I major programs is the area concentration, four courses focused on a particular theme, time period, region, or tradition. The following sample area concentrations provide a sense of the range and diversity of concentrations. In developing an area concentration, students should take into consideration their own interests and the many courses offered through RELS. Religious studies faculty members and the director of undergraduate studies are available to assist students in developing their area concentrations.

Historical, Area, and Chronological Concentrations

You may combine courses examining the religious traditions and their socio-cultural contexts in specific areas of the globe—e.g., East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Mediterranean area, Europe, the Americas, etc.—during specific time periods—e.g., religion in antiquity, religion in Europe in the late modern world, contemporary religion, etc. Focus might be on a particular community united by religion in a particular region, or on a religious community in diaspora. Another alternative would be courses that investigate the intersections among two or more traditions in a particular location or at a particular time.

Thematic Concentrations

You may combine courses focused on a specific theme or inquiry within a specific religious tradition or across traditions. For instance, such focus might be on the role of race, ethnicity, gender or class; on artistic or material expression; on views of death or suffering across traditions; on religious violence or social justice; on religious thought and science or the environment; on religion and political or public life.

Learn more about the requirements for the religion, culture, and society track