The Religious Studies Program offers a minor in Religious Studies and a number of courses that fill general education requirements. Beginning in Spring 2012 the Program will launch a new major in Religious Studies. The interdisciplinary Religious Studies Program includes faculty from across the university and is housed in the Department of Philosophy.
The Religious Studies Program offers courses in support of programs throughout the University, such as the Cultural Diversity course requirement as part of the General Education program, of the Foreign Culture course requirement in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the UNF Honors Program; and for students who seek elective courses in the study of religion. Religious Studies, as an academic discipline, fits squarely within the liberal arts tradition emphasizing clear thinking and writing as well as other tools with which to understand and appreciate the growing diversity present in our world. As an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, Religious Studies explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking “Spiritual Truth,” Religious Studies seeks an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve. In the process of coming to understand how seemingly foreign systems of meaning makes sense to those who hold them, students come to see the ways in which their own taken-for-granted assumptions look to someone who encounters them for the first time. Religious Studies students become familiar with key aspects of cultures all over the world and acquire tools with which to continue learning about those cultures and others throughout their lives. They learn a wide-range of research methods and approaches, including historical investigation, psychological inquiry, social analysis, philosophical inquiry, ethnographic investigation, quantitative and linguistic analysis, all of which will lend themselves to application in employment and in other aspects of life.
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