There is a significant difference between the devotional study of religion and the academic study of religion. The academic study of religion is an intellectual endeavor that seeks to understand the significance of religious life and thought to individuals, cultures, and societies. A key element in this endeavor is objectivity--separating one's own religion, or lack of religion, from the investigation of religion. But at the same time, we will be dealing with very important questions about the nature and purpose of life, and I hope that the course will have a positive bearing on your worldview, values, and answers to life's ultimate questions.
This course introduces students to various methods employed in the academic study of religion and will provide opportunity for students to apply these methods to diverse expressions of the religious life.
This course serves as a foundation for other courses offered by various academic departments in the UW Colleges and cross-listed in the Religious Studies Program within the Department of Philosophy. While not a prerequisite for these courses, students are encouraged to take Introduction to the Study of Religion as a gateway course, especially if they have interest in majoring in Religious Studies upon transfer.
The following University of Wisconsin institutions offer majors in Religious Studies:
UW Colleges Catalog Course Description for REL 101: Introduction to the Study of Religion - 3 credits. This course introduces students to various methods employed in the academic study of religion and will provide opportunity for students to apply these methods to diverse expressions of the religious life. This course fulfills the UWC requirement for Humanities (HU).
Successful completion of this course will enhance the student's ability to:
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