Why Study Religion at New College?
As a student studying Religion at New College, you will work closely with your faculty advisor to devise a plan of study that matches your interests and goals. You will also learn to be self aware as you explore questions that engage both religious faith and practice. Our students tell us this freedom to drive their own education energizes their studies. As one New College Religion professor said, “I love teaching religion because we help our students engage this complex, important and often neglected area of academic thought.”
The Religion faculty at New College cover a wide variety of topics and approaches. But in each they help students develop the critical thinking, analysis and communications skills that are crucial to success not only within the field of religion but to all others as well. The Religion program at New College aims to:
• Develop empathetic insight into the fundamental ideas and values of other peoples, times and places that are key to effective communication with those outside one’s own culture and time.
In the face of the influence of religion in the intellectual heritage of both Western and non-Western cultures, the program provides the beginning student with an understanding of the complexity of religious phenomena and offers the advanced student a variety of methods appropriate to such study.
Prospective students in Religion should consult with faculty to construct an individualized plan of study. Typically this plan will include:
• An introduction to the study of religion to foster communication concerning the central ideas of the discipline.
Interdisciplinary majors, or senior projects linking religion to other areas of inquiry, are particularly encouraged.
Through a combination of introductory courses, advanced seminars and courses offered in cooperation with other disciplines (such as art history, classics, history, literature and philosophy) the Religion program works towards these goals of nurturing critical thinking, effective communication skills and content knowledge. Advanced students examine philosophical issues in religious thought, method in the study of religion, religious texts and religious ethics. Strong attention is given to historical study, analysis of the relationship between religion and society, and in-depth study of key thinkers and traditional problems in religion. Faculty in allied fields and visiting faculty provide additional opportunities to pursue diverse traditions and approaches.
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