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Religious Studies

Religious Studies Program

The Religious Studies major housed in the Department of World Languages & Cultures draws from existing course offerings in approximately 13 departments and programs spread across five colleges.

A recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Religion shows that an important shift has occurred in the past few years in the academic study of religion: large state universities are now opening departments and programs in order to bring the study of religion on their campuses. This shift indicates that in the current political, social, and cultural environment, the study of religion is seen as an intrinsic part of the education of future generations of students, increasingly interested in the global world.

In the larger Salt Lake City Valley, several institutions of higher education have now developed such a course of study. Whereas Utah Valley University and Westminster College offer minors in RELS, University of Utah now offers Religious Studies as a major.

Eligible classes include (but are not limited to):

Early Christian Literature
Biblical Hebrew Poetry
Qur'anic Studies
Philosophy of Religion

Sociology of Religion
Spirituality in Social Work
Baroque Art in Europe
Myth, Magic & Religion

Native American Religion
Religions of India
Islam and Politics
World Religions Medieval England

 

Ponte St. Angelo Statue

Religious Studies Major (BA)

The goal of our program is to develop within our students the ability to identify and discuss disciplinary perspectives on religion.

To achieve this outcome, the student will work in three areas of discipline: Textual Inquiry, Religion in a Social & Cultural Context and Comparative Approaches. We are an interdisciplinary program, which means we draw from a tapestry of departments on campus. Because we draw from a spectrum of departments, our degree offers a student a broad comprehension of religious traditions.

The combination also equips the student with the ability to critically assess and synthesize the approaches to religious studies. For that reason, it is required that elective courses must be spread across at least three departments within our approved course list

  1. Students will be able to analyze and interpret religious phenomena and identities and be able to make an informed assessment of their role in current social institutions as well as past historical events. They will identify and discuss disciplinary perspectives on religion, including those of anthropology, sociology, history, art history, philosophy, literature, political science, psychology, social work, and theater. This outcome supports the Essential Learning Outcomes (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2002), including the knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world; the thorough study of the social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and the arts; and foundations and skills for lifelong learning.

  2. Students will be able to acquire cultural and religious literacy in order to better understand world religions and their history, practices, and beliefs. They will use this literacy to develop practices of intercultural dialogue and exchange, including in some cases, the ability to read and translate other languages. This outcome supports the Essential Learning Outcomes (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2002), including inquiry and analysis and critical and creative thinking, anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges.

  3. Students will be able to critically assess and synthesize the approaches to religion that are presented in different disciplines. Ultimately, students are encouraged to formulate personal approaches to understanding and interpreting religious phenomena and religious identities, bringing together their scholarly investigations, discussions with peers, and personal experiences. This outcome supports the Essential Learning Outcomes (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2002), including integrative and applied learning, synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies, demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems.

Required Courses

13 - 24 Total Credits

Completed the following

PHIL3640 World Religions (3)
RELS3620 Thinking about Religion (3)

Completed at least 2 of the following

CL CV1550 Classical Mythology (3)
HINDI4610 South Asian Literature & Culture (3)
HEBR3880 Special Topics in Hebrew Studies (3)
PERS4325 Hyphenated Lives: Muslim-Americans in the U.S. (3)

Seminar
Completed at least 1 of the following

CLCS3940 Community Engaged Learning (3)
WLC3910 Undergraduate Research (1 - 3)
UGS4820 Capstone Projects (3 - 4)
HNKLY4903 Internship: International (3 - 12)

Electives

18 Total Credits

Earned at least 18 credits from the following

ARTH3060 - Arts of Buddhism (3)
ART3260 - Ceramic Surfaces (3)
ARTH4160 - Topics in Medieval Art (3)
ARTH4195 - Seminar in Medieval Books and Production Practices (3)
CLCS3620 - Current Trends in Religious Studies (3)
CLCS3700 - Holocaust and Remembrance (3)
CLCS4325 - Hyphenated Lives: Muslim-Americans in the U.S. (3)
CLCS4960 - New Testament Studies (3)
ENGL3030 - The Bible as Literature (3)
HEBR3210 - Introduction to Judaism (3)
HEBR3800 - Sex and the Bible (3)
HEBR3880 - Special Topics in Hebrew Studies (3)
HEBR4300 - Contemporary Culture of the Jewish/Israeli World (3)
HIST3392 - Islamic Spain (3)
HIST3398 - The History of the Middle East, 1798-1914 (3)
HIST3400 - The Middle East Since 1914: Imperialism, Nationalism, Revolution and War (3)
HIST4005 - Ancient Israel and Palestine (3)
HIST4040 - Christianity in the Ancient World (3)
HIST4105 - Medieval Christian Traditions in Practice (3)
HIST4400 - Introduction to Islam (3)
HIST4410 - Arabian Days: The Islamic Caliphates (3)
HIST4420 - The Crusades (3)
HIST4790 - American Religions (3)
HIST4795 - Mormonism and the American Experience (3)
HIST5392 - Islamic Spain (3)
HONOR4810 - Christianity in the Modern World (3)
MIDE3710 - Hinduism and Islam in India and the World (3)
MIDE4510 - Introduction to Islam (3)
PHIL3600 - Philosophy of Religion (3)
PHIL3640 - World Religions (3)
PHIL3810 - Existentialism (3)
PHIL3820 - The Meaning of Life (3)
PHIL4140 - Classical Chinese Phil (3)
POLS3420 - Islam and Politics (3)
POLS3490 - Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective (3)
POLS4400 - Introduction to Islam (3)
RELS4800 - Spirituality and the Environment (3)
SOC3065 - Latter Day Saint Society, Culture, and Practices (3)
SOC3440 - Sociology of Religion (3)

Practicum

TOTAL CREDITS 

Choose and complete one of the Practicum Options

Community Engaged Learning, UROP, Learning Abroad, Individual Capstone Project, Language Internship, or Honors Thesis

View All Practicum Options

Minimum Degree Hours

122 Total Credits

Minimum Major Hours

33 Total Credits

Only course work taken for a letter grade will contribute to major requirements; CR/NC course work will not count

Only 12 credits from a dual major can count toward Religious Studies and all courses must be classes at the 3000-level or above

A maximum of 12 transfer credit hours may be applied to the major.  Exceptions to the major/minor requirements are made at the discretion of the Program Director

The overall grade-point average (GPA) for courses meeting the above requirements must be at 2.0

No individual course receiving a grade lower than C- will count for any of the requirements

  Religious Studies MAJOR REQUIREMENTS     WLC Practicum Options

Religious Studies Minor

The Religious Studies (RELS) Minor consists of 18 credit hours of course work.   This includes: two (2) Required Courses and four (4) Upper Division Enrichment Courses selected from our approved course list.  Students must pass all class requirements with a "C" or better. Of the 18 credit hours at least 9 must be taken at the U of U.  Exceptions to the major/minor requirements are made at the discretion of the Program Director.

Required Courses

TOTAL CREDITS

Completed the following

RELS3620 Thinking about Religion (3)
PHIL3640 World Religions (3)

Electives

12 TOTAL CREDITS

Completed at least 4 of the following

ARTH3060 Arts of Buddhism (3)
ARTH3260 Idols and Images: Visual Arts of Reformation Europe (3)
ARTH4160 Topics in Medieval Art (3)
ARTH4195 Seminar in Medieval Books and Production Practices (3)
CLCS3620 Current Trends in Religious Studies (3)
CLCS3700 Holocaust and Remembrance (3)
CLCS4325 Hyphenated Lives: Muslim-Americans in the U.S. (3)
CLCS4960 New Testament Studies (3)
ENGL3030 The Bible as Literature (3)
HEBR3210 Introduction to Judaism (3)
HEBR3800 Sex and the Bible (3)
HEBR3880 Special Topics in Hebrew Studies (3)
HEBR4300 Contemporary Culture of the Jewish/Israeli World (3)
HIST3090 Reformations: Europe in Turmoil (3)
HIST3392 Islamic Spain (3)
HIST3398 The History of the Middle East, 1798-1914 (3)
HIST3400 The Middle East Since 1914: Imperialism, Nationalism, Revolution and War (3)
HIST4005 Ancient Israel and Palestine (3)
HIST4040 Christianity in the Ancient World (3)
HIST4105 Medieval Christian Traditions in Practice (3)
HIST4420 The Crusades (3)
HIST4400 Introduction to Islam (3)
HIST4410 Arabian Days: The Islamic Caliphates (3)
HIST4790 American Religions (3)
HIST4795 Mormonism and the American Experience (3)
HIST5392 Islamic Spain (3)
HONOR4810 Christianity in the Modern World (3)
MIDE3710 Hinduism and Islam in India and the World (3)
MIDE4510 Introduction to Islam (3)
PHIL3600 Philosophy of Religion (3)
PHIL3640 World Religions (3)
PHIL3810 Existentialism (3)
PHIL3820 The Meaning of Life (3)
PHIL4140 Classical Chinese Phil (3)
POLS3420 Islam and Politics (3)
POLS3490 Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective (3)
POLS4400 Introduction to Islam (3)
RELS4800 Spirituality and the Environment (3)
SOC3065 Latter Day Saint Society, Culture, and Practices (3)
SOC3440 Sociology of Religion (3)

Minimum Minor Hours

18 TOTAL CREDITS

Only course work taken for a letter grade will contribute to the above requirements; CR/NC course work will not count

No individual course receiving a grade lower than C- will count for any of the requirements

The overall grade-point average (GPA) for courses meeting the above requirements must be at 2.0.

  Religious Studies mINOR REQUIREMENTS 

Explore Courses

 Click on the subjects below to learn more and see courses offered.

Current Courses

2021

ARTH 3060 Arts of Buddhism
CLCV 1550 Classical Mythology
CLCS 4325 Muslim Americans in the US
CLCS 4900 Traditional Asian Medicine
HIST 3040 Early Medieval England
HIST 3400 Middle East Since 1914
HIST 4120 Christianity int the Modern World
HIST 4660 History of Utah
MID E 3540 Middle East Since 1914
MID E 3880 Religion & Fashion in the Middle East
PHIL 3010 - 004 The Problem of Evil
PHIL 3900-001 Ancient Christian Thought
PHIL 3900-002 Philosophy & Religious Studies
POLS 3440 Comparative Politics of the Middle East
POLS 4400 Introduction to Islam
PERS 4325 Muslim Americans in the US
SOC 3440 Sociology of Religion

2020

CLCV 1500 Classical Mythology
CLCS 3720 Empathy, Medicine, and the Human Condition
HIST 3400 Middle East Since 1914
HIST 4440 Introduction to Islam
HIST 4600 History of Utah
MID E 3880-001 The Jewish Experience
MID E 3880-002 Modern Syria and Lebanon
MID E 3880-009 Religion and Fashion in the Middle East
MID E 5635 Politics and Society of Iran
PHIL 3900 Modern Christian Thought
PHIL 4110 Ancient Greek Philosophy
POLS 4440 Introduction to Islam
SOC 3440 Sociology of Religion

MID E 3753 Anthr. And Archeology of Ancient Egypt
PHIL 3810 Existentialism

ARTH 4195 Seminar: Medieval Books
BUS 3930 God and Money
CLCS 3720 Empathy, Medicine, and the Human Condition
CLCS 3900-001 Prophets on the Edge
CLCS 4900 Traditional Asian Medicine
CLCS 4900-001 Mormon Literature
ENGL 5775 Holocaust Literature
HINDI 4630 Bollywood: Seeing India through Indo-Pakistani Film
HIST 3040 Early Medieval England
HIST 3398 History of the Middle East 1798-1914
HIST 3700 Colonial America
HIST 4230 Global Islam
HIST 49901-001 Biography as History
MID E 2910 Arabic and Persian Culture and Civilization
MID E 3773 Silk Road
MID E 3880-090 Anthropological Archaeology of the Ancient Near East
MID E 3880-091 Oil in the Middle East and Central Asia
MID E 4007 Women’s Voices: Egypt and Iran
PERS 4880 God, Love, and Mysticism
PHIL 3013 Philosophy of Daodejing
PHIL 3100 Ancient Greek Philosophy
PHIL 3110 Survey of Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 4400 Metaphysics
POLS 3440 Comparative Politics of the Middle East
POLS 5470 International Relations of the Middle East
SOC 3440 Sociology of Religion

 

2019

CLCV 3790 Ancient Epic
CLCV 4550 Ancient Myth and Religion
CLCS 3900-001 Prophets on the Edge
CLCS 6680 Text and Image
ENGL 5775 Holocaust Literature
HINDI 4630 Bollywood: Seeing India through Indo-Pakistani Film
HIST 3398 History of the Middle East 1798-1914
HIST 3560 Modern India
HIST 4795 Mormonism and the American Experience
MID E 4007 Women’s Voices: Egypt and Iran
PERS 4880 God, Love, and Mysticism
PHIL 3013 Philosophy of Daodejing
PHIL 3600 Philosophy of Religion
PHIL 4115 Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 4120 Early Modern Philosophy
POLS 3440 Comparative Politics of the Middle East
SOC 3440 Sociology of Religion

MID E 3753 Anthr. And Archeology of Ancient Egypt
MID E 3773 Silk Road: Past & Present

CLCS 3720 Empathy, Medicine, and the Human Condition
CLCS 4900 Quest for Immortality 
CLCV 1550 Classical Mythology
ETHNC 4730-001 Race, Religion, Spirituality
HIST 3040 Early Medieval England
HIST 3400 Middle East Since 1914
HIST 4400 Introduction to Islam
HIST 4660 History of Utah
HIST 4790 American Religions
MID E 3540 Middle East Since 1914
MID E 3644 Comparative Politics of the Middle East
MID E 3880-001 Israeli/Palestinian Cinema
MID E 3880-002 Modern Syria and Lebanon
MID E 3880-090 Religion and Fashion in the Middle East
MID E 4325 Muslim-Americans in the U.S.
MID E 4510 Introduction to Islam
PHIL 3900-001 Ancient Christian Thought
SOC 3440 Sociology of Religion

Career Opportunities - Why Study Religion?

The skills you will gain in this program will prepare you for careers in a host of fields including, international relations, medical vocations, education-–just to name a few. Listed below are other career opportunities that open up with a religious studies degree.

Curator
Chaplain
Attorney
Historian

Anthropologist
Freelance Writer
Campus Ministry
Teacher/Professor

Humanitarian Work
Social Justice Advocacy
Economic Development


Why Study Religion?

Fear of the “other” (marked as ethnic, racial, and of course, religious difference) is at the heart of so many of the conflicts that currently afflict the world. Students of Religious Studies learn about the sociological and psychological factors which shape belief and often inform global conflict. They also study the history and theology of multiple religious traditions.

We focus on teaching students ways of engaging religious difference in complex ways and learning to talk thoughtfully, and respectfully about these differences. With this training place they are uniquely able not only to analyze how religious discourse informs divisive situations, but more importantly how to actively foster civil dialogue that honestly honors, rather than mitigates religious difference.

Huffpost Religion Logo
The Top Five Reasons to Study Religion

Chronicle of Higher Education
The Value of Teaching Religious Literacy 

Student Opportunities

Aziz Atiya Comparative Religion Research Awards

The Religious Studies Program of the Department of World Languages and Cultures is pleased to announce an annual competition for faculty and graduate student research awards for 2019-2020. The competition supports activities that enhance research productivity connected to the study of religion, broadly defined.

Click Here for Details

Faculty

Professor John Wynne

Religious Studies Program Coordinator


john.wynne@utah.edu | (801)-581-8384

 
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Last Updated: 10/21/20