Academic Catalog 2018-19

Religion (BA, Minor)

Dominican’s comparative religion program focuses on the Judeo-Christian tradition, cross-cultural study of humanity’s religions including Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Native American traditions. These traditions are studied in their mythological, philosophical, psychological, and sociological dimensions. Students examine not only the historical origins and ideals of these religions but also the many ways they influence individuals and societies in the modern, global world. Each member of the Religion faculty considers the student-teacher relationship crucial to the educational venture.

The central objectives of the Religion program are: to contribute to a new depth and richness in questions about transcendent reality and/or concepts of God; to address perennial human questions so as to find in an understanding of the past as a source of wisdom for the present; to struggle with the questions of truth based on awareness of religious pluralism and cultural diversity; to develop skills of reading for comprehension and insight, writing with clarity and style, speaking well, and thinking analytically and critically; and to analyze and critique contemporary culture from a religious and/or spiritual point of view.

The Religion Major

The Religion major comprises three distinct areas of study: scripture, theology, and the cross-cultural study of religion.

Program Learning Outcomes

The student will demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge of the literal contents of the Bible, the cultural and/or historical situations to which they respond, and the enduring theological perspectives that appear in these responses. (Scripture Courses)
  2. Comprehension of some of the seminal figures and/or central issues of modern/contemporary theology. (Theology Courses)
  3. Knowledge of major non-Christian religions, i.e., their views of reality, the goals of human life, and the ways to those goals. (Cross-Cultural Courses)
  4. Comprehension of nature and function of myth, symbol and ritual in religious traditions. (Cross-Cultural Courses)
  5. An ability to reflectively consider at least one of the philosophical problems raised by religions generically: e.g., the nature of the Real, the existence of God, the problem of evil, commensurability among the religions, etc. (Cross-Cultural Courses)
  6. An ability to write a Senior thesis on a specific research topic in the field of religion that demonstrates skillful use of a significant range of library and other research materials and a well-developed bibliography.