- Course Work
- Undergraduate Programs
Associate professors: Burns, M. Dakake, M. Farina, Nguyen, Ro (chair), Shiner
Adjuncts: Ben-Gideon, Catlett, D. Dakake, D. Glazer, Hebbar, Hostetter, Mairena
This department offers all course work designated RELI in the Course Descriptions chapter of this catalog.
Religious Studies, BA
The major in religious studies is intended to bring the student to an understanding of the major traditions of world religions. Areas of study include Asian religious traditions; Near (Middle) East religious traditions, including Judaism, Islam, and Christianity; and comparative aspects of religion. Students develop skills in reading and interpreting sacred texts. They explore the cultural and social dimensions of religion, along with a consideration of religious values and ethics, from comparative and cross-cultural perspectives with relation to global issues.
The courses are writing intensive. They enable students to study and analyze religious ideas and symbols, and encourage them to present well-argued papers.
In addition to university-wide general education requirements and requirements for a BA in CHSS, religious studies majors must complete at least 33 credits in religious studies, earning a minimum grade of 2.00 in each course. Note that all students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 to graduate. No course may be used to fulfill more than one requirement. The credits are distributed as follows:
- 6 credits of introduction to the main world religions:
- RELI 211 Religions of the Near (Middle) East
- RELI 212 Religions of the Orient
- 3 credits in a writing-intensive seminar taken during the senior year (RELI 420)
- 6 credits in courses emphasizing comparative or methodological aspects of the study of religion, including:
- ANTH 313 Anthropological Perspectives on Religion
- PHIL 313 Philosophy of Religion
- RELI 337 Mysticism: East and West
- RELI 341 Global Perspectives on Spirituality and Healing
- RELI 490 Comparative Study of Religions
- SOCI 385 Sociology of Religion
- When the subject matter is appropriate, with the approval of the undergraduate coordinator, RELI 376 may be used to fulfill the comparative or methodological requirement.
- A minimum of 12 credits in 300- or 400-level RELI courses not used to fulfill the second and third requirements above
- 6 elective credits in religious studies or related disciplines (including anthropology, art history, and history) to be chosen in consultation with the student's advisor
Up to 6 credits of a scriptural language (such as Arabic, Biblical Hebrew, Chinese, Classical Greek, Latin, or Sanskrit) may be used to fulfill either of the last two requirements.
Mason requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. Religious studies majors may fulfill this requirement by successfully completing the second requirement above.
Minor in Judaic Studies
The minor in Judaic studies is designed for students interested in the culture, history, and politics of Jewish communities across the world.
Students must complete 15 credits distributed as follows:
Three core courses (9 credits):
- RELI 370 Judaism: Life and Thought
- RELI 371 Classic Jewish Texts
- HIST 388/SOC 450 The Holocaust: The Construction of Social History through Survivor Testimonies or HIST 461 Arab-Israeli Conflict
Two elective courses (6 credits) chosen from:
- HEBR 150 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew
- HIST 465 The Middle East in the 20th Century
- RELI 211 Religions of the Near East
- RELI 352 Judaism from Exile to Talmud
- RELI 372 American Judaism
- RELI 373 Varieties of Jewish Expression
Special topics courses and independent studies courses, when relevant, may be used to fulfill elective credits for the minor with prior approval of the coordinator.
Minor in Religious Studies
The minor in religious studies introduces students to the world's religious traditions. Within the minor, students may pursue religious traditions of Asia or the Near (Middle) East or comparative aspects of religion. The minor consists of 18 credits, at least 9 of which must be in 300- and 400-level courses. Three credits must be taken from one of the following: RELI 100 The Human Religious Experience, RELI 211 Religions of the Near (Middle) East, or RELI 212 Religions of the Orient. Students must earn a minimum grade of 2.00 in each course applied to the minor.