Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to sub-navigation

Mission Statement and Curricular Goals

Mission Statement

The Religion Department at Colorado College aims to:

  • practice an academic approach to religion/s and exemplify the scholarly methods involved in the discipline
  • promote a cosmopolitan appreciation of cultural diversity through respectful engagement with the world's religious traditions and critical examination of prevailing assumptions about religion/s.
  • advance an understanding of the power of religious discourse in shaping personal attitudes and practices as well as social, political, and economic institutions.
  • encourage a self-critical awareness that enables students to recognize the relative position of various truth claims, including their own; and
  • support informed public discussion of specific religious traditions and the academic study of religion more generally.

Curricular Goals

Students majoring in Religion at Colorado College will:

  • Possess basic knowledge of at least three religious traditions originating in Asia and the Middle East and understand their internal diversity through a study of foundational texts, historical developments, cultural contexts, and contemporary practices in various geographical locations.
  • Possess advanced knowledge of at least one religious tradition through a focused study of a specific text, figure, concept, practice, time, place, method, and/or mode of resistance.
  • Recognize and analyze diverse forms and expressions of religion such as myth, ritual, doctrine, community, literature, art, and music.
  • Discern how religious traditions shape and are shaped by other dimensions of human experience and culture such as art, politics, economics, science, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity; and how religions are used both to support and to critique social structures and institutions.
  • Grasp the complexities in the category of "religion" and understand the theoretical, methodological and historiographical challenges involved in the academic study of religion and religions.
  • Identify the interdisciplinary methods employed in the field (philological, historical, theological, philosophical, anthropological, psychological, ethical, literary, etc.); evaluate the effectiveness of various methodological lenses and employ them selectively.
  • Engage in sustained research that requires interpretation of a diverse collection of sources and culminates in a senior thesis with proper documentation and an appropriate academic tone, and that enhances understanding in the field.
  • Develop the skills of critical reading and thinking, respectful listening, careful reasoning and analysis, and eloquent writing in order to communicate clearly and participate effectively in scholarly conversation and civic discourse.