The study of religion is, by definition, an interdisciplinary enterprise and a majority of courses offered by the department connect and contribute to the work of other college departments and programs. Faculty members’ own research stems from a variety of methodological viewpoints such as anthropology, history, philosophy, and theology. Our scholarly work also contributes to programs that concentrate on regions of the world or on topics such as the study of women and gender, medieval and renaissance studies, etc. The multifaceted nature of our work is reflected strongly in our teaching, as well, and many courses in the department, particularly those at the introductory level, include materials from various disciplinary perspectives.

The department encourages students to develop a broad view of religion by seeking connections between different methodologies used in studying religious phenomena both within the department and across the college. Moreover, students can develop depth in particular areas by combining the major in religion with work done in the college’s interdepartmental programs and minors.

We ask students to think carefully and deliberately about their interests while choosing their course of study at all stages of their career at Carleton. A double major with religion may sometimes be acceptable, though this is discouraged across the college because fulfilling requirements in two departments is onerous and leaves very little room for a broad liberal arts education. We recommend minors, although these should also be undertaken with attention to the coherence of a student’s overall educational aims at the college. We discourage minors done merely for the sake of acquiring credentials on transcripts. Students should work with their advisers to select minors and to utilize them in an optimal way. In many cases, the religion major and a minor may work very well with opportunities for off-campus study.

The following interdisciplinary programs are particularly suitable for students of religion: