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Religious Studies

What's the one of the surest ways to understand different cultures? By starting with the world’s major religions. That’s what Amberjade Taylor realized. As soon as she became aware of the opportunity presented by religious studies presented, she dug in and began expanding her understanding of the broader world.

“I took a philosophy of religion course,” Amberjade recalls, “and that cemented my interest in world religions. I loved the material we read and enjoyed the higher-level critical thinking that the professors encouraged – along with the emphasis on discussion. That course was very interactive, and it really piqued my intellectual curiosity.”

Roughly year later, Amberjade found herself sitting on the floor of a traditional Ladahki kitchen in the mountains of Kashmir. She had come to this remote region of India on a study-abroad course with 11 other students and two professors from the College. “For class,” she says, “we all sat on rugs with these beautiful brass pots hanging everywhere. That was where our class on Tibetan Buddhism took place. It was really beautiful.”

Simply being in physical contact with what she and the other students were studying was powerful, Amberjade says. “It wasn’t just on the page of a book. It was right in front of us. We touched murals that are thousands of years old. We climbed over rocks on a pilgrimage route that people make every year. And we interacted with locals and talked with them about their beliefs.”

For Amberjade, faculty are the best part of this major. “I feel wholly supported. All the professors have a strong grasp of their research specialties, and they integrate that into their courses. So, you’re not getting just a broad, generic survey of world religions. You’re getting specific stories, specific projects, and they’re being connected or you’re being asked to connect them. It’s not a passive environment at all, and I really like that.”

religious studies - elijah siegler

Contact Information

Elijah Siegler
department chair
Department of Religious Studies

Our curriculum provides students with an understanding of diverse religious traditions, an exposure to a variety of approaches regarding the study of religion and an opportunity to explore different intellectual, social-theoretical and ethical issues pertaining to the varying roles of religion in human life.

❱❱ Graduates have entered careers in medicine, education, counseling and journalism.

❱❱ Courses have included Religion and Ecology; Myth, Ritual and Symbol; Religion and Film.