About the Program
Comparative Religion Majors are historians, ethicists, cultural analysts, and/or global comparativists, depending on their choice of courses for concentration in the major; there are multiple options, since the Study of Religion is a uniquely interdisciplinary field. Our program enables students to:
- explain concepts, practices and patterns of global religions through the interpretation of a variety of sources, including masterpieces of literature, art, architecture and performance
- analyze religion as an influential expression of human experience across the globe using methods of historical analysis, ethical reasoning and practice, and comparative study
- examine Western and world history, from local culture to global news, through an understanding of religion’s roles in world events, both past and present
- interpret ethical standards and practices and values-motivated behavior of individuals and groups, historically and in the present
Our interdisciplinary study ensures that students have a diversity of analytical methods with which to understand and engage their world, including historical analysis (analysis of art and architecture, textual criticism, social theories of community and identity formation), ethical reasoning and practice (case studies, philosophical analysis, social morality, decision-making) and comparative methods (cross-cultural patterns, ethnography, similarities and differences among Asian and Abrahamic traditions).
The culture of the department is experiential, offering field trips to sacred spaces and museums, as well as international programs such as Drew International Seminars. We encourage students to explore religion and material culture locally and internationally.
- Professors: Darrell Cole, Karen Pechilis, Christopher Taylor
- Assistant Professors: Jonathan Golden