Religious Studies (BA)


2016-2017 UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES CATALOG

Effective 1 June 2016 through 31 May 2017

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program offered by College of Arts & Sciences/Religious Studies Department

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will have:

  • Studied a broad range of the world's religious systems and traditions and learned about their various influences on human cultures, societies, histories, and personal values.
  • Gained informed familiarity with the beliefs and practices of more than one religious and spiritual tradition.
  • Learned to compare and contrast diverse religions and their cultural contexts through an emphasis on religious traditions, or on religions in relation to the arts and humanities, or on religions in relation to the social sciences.
  • Developed skills in critical thinking and open inquiry, clear and thoughtful oral and written communication, informed analysis, and creative expression.
  • Addressed issues of social responsibility by exposure to other ways of thinking about core social issues.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 128 credit hours consisting of the following:

  • 42 required credit hours
  • Of the 42 required credit hours, at least 12 credit hours of courses for the major must be completed at the 3000 and 4000 levels.
  • Applicable university global citizenship
  • Electives

Courses in religious studies completed with a grade lower than C- will not count toward fulfilling the major.

The requirements for a major consist of completion of 21 credit hours of required core courses and 21 credit hours of elective courses in religious studies. Required courses cannot be used to satisfy the requirements of an emphasis area. Three credit hours of non-religious-studies electives must demonstrate cross-cultural understanding. This requirement may be met by an elementary language course.

Of the required 42 credit hours to complete a BA in religious studies, a minimum of 18 credit hours must be taken at Webster University.

Special Requirements

Up to 9 hours of coursework from cognate disciplines may count toward Religious Studies major requirements. This can include up to 9 hours of foreign language coursework in one language.

In special cases, up to 9 hours of foreign language coursework beyond the elementary level may count toward the religious studies major requirements.

No more than 6 credit hours of coursework outside the classroom structure -- such as in a course in reading, independent study, or field experience -- will count toward the major requirements. No more than 6 credits of ungraded (pass/fail) coursework may be used to satisfy the major requirements.

Curriculum

The 42 credit hours required for the religious studies major include the following:

Core Courses

  • RELG 2070 Introduction to Eastern Religions (3 hours)
  • RELG 2080 Introduction to Western Religions (3 hours)
  • RELG 2090 Introduction to Religions of Small Scale Societies (3 hours)
  • RELG 4800 Portfolio Review (0-1 hours)
  • RELG 4000-level electives (6 hours)
  • Emphasis electives (see below) (21 hours)

6 credit hours from the following:

  • RELG 3100 Hinduism (3 hours)
  • RELG 3120 Buddhism (3 hours)
  • RELG 3130 Religions of China and Japan (3 hours)
  • RELG 3180 Judaism (3 hours)
  • RELG 3190 Christianity (3 hours)
  • RELG 3200 Islam (3 hours)
  • RELG 3210 African Religions (3 hours)
  • RELG 3211 African Christianities (3 hours)

Emphasis in Religious Traditions

The emphasis in religious traditions is designed to encourage students to explore, by contrast and comparison, different religious traditions of the world.

Required Courses for the Emphasis in Religious Traditions

12 credit hours from the following:

  • RELG 1060 World Religions (3 hours)
  • RELG 2032 Global Christianities (3 hours)
  • RELG 2075 Introduction to Buddhism (3 hours)
  • RELG 2085 Introduction to Judaism (3 hours)
  • RELG 2201 Islam and the State (3 hours)
  • RELG 2350 Sacred Texts (3 hours)
  • RELG 2420 Religion and Culture (3 hours)
  • RELG 3100 Hinduism (3 hours)
  • RELG 3120 Buddhism (3 hours)
  • RELG 3130 Religions of China and Japan (3 hours)
  • RELG 3180 Judaism (3 hours)
  • RELG 3190 Christianity (3 hours)
  • RELG 3200 Islam (3 hours)
  • RELG 3210 African Religions (3 hours)
  • RELG 3211 African Christianities (3 hours)

NOTE: Other courses may apply, depending on their content.

Emphasis in Religion and the Arts and Humanities

The emphasis in religion and the arts and humanities is designed to encourage students to explore religion as it relates to issues of meaning and values that are addressed by disciplines in the arts and humanities like art, literature, music, philosophy, and so forth. 

Required Courses for the Emphasis in Religion and the Arts and Humanities

12 credit hours from the following:

  • RELG 1080 Thinking Through Religions (3 hours)
  • RELG 2050 Religion and Human Values (3 hours)
  • RELG 2100 Religion and Literature (3 hours)
  • RELG 2101 Science Fiction and Religion (3 hours)
  • RELG 2150 Existence and Meaning (3 hours)
  • RELG 2350 Sacred Texts (3 hours)
  • RELG 2400 Religion and the Arts (3 hours)
  • RELG 2401 Religion and Media Culture (3 hours)
  • RELG 2405 Religion and Film (3 hours)
  • RELG 2430 Environments and Religion (3 hours)
  • RELG 2431 Ecology and Spirituality (3 hours)
  • RELG 3050 Topics in Religion and Philosophy (3 hours)
  • RELG 4040 Belief Systems (3 hours)
  • RELG 4400 Spiritual Paths and Classics (3 hours)

NOTE: Other courses may apply, depending on their content.

Emphasis in Religion and the Social Sciences

A Religious Studies major with an emphasis in Religion and the Social Sciences is designed to encourage students to explore religion as it relates to complex issues of human behavior, culture, and society that are addressed by disciplines in the Social Sciences like Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, and so forth.

Required Courses for the Emphasis in Religion and the Social Sciences

12 credit hours from the following:

  • RELG 2410 Religion and Science (3 hours)
  • RELG 2411 Religion and Scientific Theory (3 hours)
  • RELG 2420 Religion and Culture (3 hours)
  • RELG 2430 Environments and Religion (3 hours)
  • RELG 2431 Ecology and Spirituality (3 hours)
  • RELG 2440 Religion and Social Action (3 hours)
  • RELG 2450 Death and Dying (3 hours)
  • RELG 2500 Gender, Culture, and Religion (3 hours)
  • RELG 2501 Gender, Belief Systems, and Globalization (3 hours)
  • RELG 3030 Topics in Religion and Society (3 hours)
  • RELG 3070 Topics in Religion and Psychology (3 hours)
  • RELG 3600 Field Experience in Religion (1-6 hours)
  • RELG 3605 International Field Experience in Religion (1-6 hours)

NOTE: Other courses may apply, depending on their content.

Admission

Students who are interested in applying to this degree program should see the Admission Section of this catalog for general requirements.