Discover Religious Studies
The Department of Religious Studies is interdisciplinary by definition and covers content that spans the globe in a broad historical manner. Our curriculum includes an array of topics, such as:
- American religious culture
- Eastern and Western religious and spiritual traditions
- Ethical issues of contemporary life (e.g., biotechnology and ethics)
- Gender and sexuality
- Media and religion
- The interface of politics and religion, contemporary and ancient
- Classic religious, spiritual, philosophical, mythological, magical, and political texts from Chinese, Sanskrit, Hebrew, cuneiform, Greek and Latin sources
- Archaeological artifacts from the ancient world
Be Inspired by Our Faculty
Religious Studies students have the opportunity to meet and work closely with a faculty that has in-depth expertise covering diverse aspects of the discipline. Not only do our faculty excel in their own academic scholarship, but they also excel in imparting that knowledge to students.
Majors and Minors Offered
The Department of Religious Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts degree program in Religious Studies. Two minors, in Religious Studies and Ancient Studies, are also offered for students who are committed to other academic tracks.
Courses Cover Diverse Perspectives
We challenge students to study the religious practices, beliefs, institutions, and texts of ancient and modern societies. Through these studies, students learn about the religious phenomena that have shaped human civilizations. In addition to deep knowledge of this religious and cultural activity, 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.
A typical course in the Department includes students from various backgrounds and academic disciplines, and it affords significant opportunity for provocative interdisciplinary discussion.
Beyond the Classroom
Students on a field trip to the Stockton Cambodian Buddhist Temple (Wat Dharmararam)
Students in the Department of Religious Studies form a close-knit community. Those bonds are strengthened by the field trips they take as part of their academic studies, by celebrating each other's achievements, and by exploring the world of religious studies through dialogue and conversation.
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.
Our faculty organize interesting field trips that further illuminate subject matter taught in their classes.
Prepare for a Successful Career
Our students graduate with the ability to reflect upon, appreciate, and be open to criticism, practices, beliefs, and institutions of other cultures as well as their own. Through this exposure, students come to better understand the world, themselves, and their place in the world.