Majoring in Religious Studies
Religious Studies Certificate
Religious studies is a traditional component of the liberal arts, but there's little that’s traditional about the program at Connecticut College. You explore many faith traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism and Daoism, and delve into relatively new movements, from Mormonism to Rastafarianism. We look at complex issues from different intellectual, ethical and intercultural perspectives. Your work helps you hone your analytical and problem-solving skills. With this preparation, you can succeed in law, government, business, education and many other fields.
Many religious studies students double major. You might bring an international aspect to your studies by applying to the certificate program of the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts. Or you can explore the connections between religion, public policy and community engagement through the certificate program of the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy. The religious studies department also works closely with the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity.
You work closely with professors at every step of your studies, from coursework to internships to research. You can intern with groups like the Pluralism Project at Harvard University and accompany professors on trips to Israel and other locations. You can also help direct the religious studies program by joining our student advisory board.
What can you do with a majorcertificate in Religious Studies?
Here are some of the positions our graduates have gone on to hold:
Q: What led you to religious studies?
A: I stumbled upon it freshman year when I took "Religion and the Spirit of Politics." It was one of my most challenging, engaging courses. I’ve been able to study a wide range of subject matter, from Dante's Inferno to the Sunni awakening. My professors have a genuine interest in my success, and I've enjoyed their mentorship both inside and outside the classroom.
Q: What type of independent research have you done?
A: Another student and I pursued an independent study with Professor Kim. We examined the ways in which trauma destroys and stimulates world views. I concluded the project with a paper, "On Hearing Trauma" and submitted it to the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest. I am a finalist.
Q: What role has CELS, the College's career and internship program, played for you?
A: My CELS counselor helped me identify internship options, edit cover letters and conduct a mock interview. I interned with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and had a terrific summer in New York City.
- Holy Books: The Western Scriptural Tradition
- Religion in the United States
- Women, Religion and Modernity
- Christ and Christ Figures
- Religion and the Discontents of Modernity
- Islam and the United States
- Muslim Women's Voices
- Jewish Ethics
- Religion and the Spirit of Politics
- Cults and Conversion in Modern America
- The Holocaust and Theology
- Religion, Trauma, Commemoration and Celebration
- Religious Stories and Practices in Everyday Life
On Hearing Trauma
By: Nora Britton '14
Advising Faculty: David Kyuman Kim
The Neurological Production of Experiences Deemed Spiritual or Religious
By: Benjamin Allar '13
Advising Faculty: Eugene Gallagher
By: Alex Zareki '12
Advising Faculty: Ozgur Izmirli