Religion Department

The Curriculum

The interdisciplinarity, diversity, dynamism, elusive power, and global scope of religion make its study not only exciting but also immensely challenging. Reed’s Religion curriculum is accretional. Students begin with 100-level tradition-specific introductions to the ideas, practices, and institutions of various religions. We currently offer courses in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and East Asian religions. These courses are designed to prepare students for our 200-level courses, rather than focusing on a tradition, foreground historiographical, theoretical and methodological challenges involved in the study of religion in general and explore the intersection of religion with other aspects of human life. Our 300-level courses build on tradition-specific introductions of our 100-level course and the theoretical and methodological sophistication students develop in our 200-level courses to examine thematic, historiographical, and methodological issues in the studies of religion in greater depth and specificity. The Junior Seminar hones students’ interpretive methods and prepares for original research and careful scholarship in the senior thesis. Learn more about the senior thesis in Religion and its qualifying exam.