Welcome to the Department of Religious Studies. In our department, we challenge students to study the practices, beliefs, texts and languages of ancient and modern societies. Through these studies, students learn about the phenomena that have shaped Western culture and Eastern foundations. In addition to deep knowledge of the religious and cultural activity that has molded human civilization, our students acquire intellectual skills that serve them throughout their educational endeavors and beyond.
Religion has historically shaped and continues to influence cultures and institutions worldwide. It is useful to explore spiritual traditions in order to examine ultimate religious and ethical questions. Our coursework provides perspectives that prepare citizen - leaders to engage these matters in a thoughtful, humane, historically broad and intellectually rigorous manner.
Religion and Technology in Dialogue
Kristian Petersen of the Marginalia Review of Books talks with Caroline Schroeder, associate professor in religious studies, about a new digital project called Coptic SCRIPTORIUM, and the potential of the digital humanities in religious studies.
Beyond the Classroom
Students experience practical aspects of religion through field work in local places of worship, including Confucian, Hindu and Sikh temples; Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhist temples; a Greek Orthodox Church; a local synagogue; and St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, which has one of the largest social help programs in the Central Valley.
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