Associate Professor K. Christine Pae, Chair
Professors John E. Cort, David O. Woodyard; Associate Professors John L. Jackson, K. Christine Pae; Assistant Professors, Maia Kotrosits, Martha Roberts; Visiting Assistant Professor Claire Robison; Academic Administrative Assistant Jodi Weibel
Departmental Guidelines and Goals
The study of religion at Denison is an academic endeavor within the Liberal Arts tradition. Religion majors and minors (and those who take religion courses) learn to think critically, communicate clearly, and explore different world-views empathetically. Religion courses enhance students’ intellectual development at Denison, and provide skills that transfer to multiple careers.
Religion courses focus upon cultures, moralities, sacred texts, rituals, and symbols, and thus students are led to reflect on multiple religious traditions, including their own, and enhance their own sense of self and reality. Religion courses provide opportunities to consider issues such as gender, sexuality, race, class, and global diversity in the intersections of religious and secular settings. Courses in religion aspire as well to connect with other fields of study, and bring to awareness the connective tissues among different life spheres. The academic study of religion, in its normative and historical forms, is one of the ways in which Denison students are educated “to become autonomous citizens, discerning moral agents, and active citizens of a democratic society.”
A Religion major requires nine courses. It has the following components: (1) a set of five courses (201, 204, 211, 215, 224) from which four are required; (2) a concentration of at least three courses in designated areas, designed in consultation with the student’s Religion Department advisor; (3) a seminar for majors and minors only, designed around special topics that will be in a concentration area; (4) a comprehensive examination with take-home and in-class components. Ordinarily, no more than one course at the 100-level may count. If a student has completed the common courses and fulfilled a concentration, one semester of a Senior Research Project may count toward the nine-course requirement.
A Religion minor consists of (1) a common set of five courses (201, 204, 211, 215, 224) from which four are required; (2) an elective course; (3) a seminar for majors and minors only, designed around special topics; and (4) an abbreviated comprehensive examination.
Additional Points of Interest
Off Campus Study Denison University works to make study abroad and other off-campus study possible for all students, typically during their junior year. Most students who major in Religion transfer one or two courses for the concentration within the Religion major, satisfy a GE requirement or two, and gain general credits towards graduation. Quite a few do independent research or internships as part of their study abroad experience. We encourage students to visit the Off-Campus Study office to explore options, and to meet with a faculty advisor in the Religion Department to discuss how study abroad can best be integrated into the student’s major.