Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies

The Minor in Religious Studies

Students in class

Religious Studies represents an interdisciplinary approach that draws upon the arts, humanities, and social sciences in order to understand more fully the ways in which the religious has been and is manifest in human history and culture.

The study of our own tradition and of other religious traditions broadens us and makes us more human, more ready to have a conversation with another. When we enter the life-worlds of others, we become freer and larger morally. Culture builds on the past; history unfolds. It is important to remember that human experience is borne by culture—the life-forms of those who came before us can be carried into the "now" and into tomorrow. To engage in religious studies is to expand our horizons; it is part of a liberal education, if by "liberal" we mean free, liberated.

Program objectives

  • Show knowledge of how different religions view humanity, the natural world, and the divine;
  • Understand the study of religion as an interdisciplinary task, relating to the arts and humanities on the one hand, and the social and natural sciences on the other;
  • Recognize the diversity of viewpoints and practices in the contemporary world of religious pluralism;
  • Problem solve claims related to "the One and the Many";
  • Engage ethical problems thoughtfully and actively, and contribute to the work of peace and justice.

Requirements for the minor in Religious Studies

Religious studies minors must take 21 hours, with a grade of "C" or better," from the following courses:

  • Religious StudiesRELS 100 (3): Religion and Culture
  • RELS 120 (3): Eastern Religious Traditions
  • RELS 130 (3): Abrahamic Traditions
  • RELS 150 (3): Introduction to the Bible I
  • RELS 160 (3): Jesus Christ
  • RELS 165 (3): The Church
  • RELS 220 (3): History of Christian Thought I
  • RELS 221 (3): History of Christian Thought II
  • RELS 250 (3): Christian Ethics
  • RELS 285 (3): Religion in America
  • THEO 104 (3): Faith and Science
  • THEO 225 (3): Pilgrimage
  • THEO 235 (3): Interreligious Dialogue
  • a 300-level course arranged with faculty

At least 12 credit hours must be taken at the 200 level or above, including at least 3 credit hours at Benedictine at the 300 level.

Minors work with advisors to plan the focus of their academic study; that is, whether they want to study Christianity, with emphasis on the Catholic tradition, or comparative religions.