“Religion courses at Carleton have pushed me to learn about the minds, bodies, and souls of individuals from a variety of religious traditions. This enriches the pre-med courses I am taking because it has encouraged me to look at healing from a new and equally important angle.”Madeline Egan ’19, Religion and Pre-Med
“I am a religion major because I love learning about humanity’s passion and search for understanding how the world works and our role in it. Despite the fact that many predict our generation to be less religious, religion remains to be a huge source of inspiration and meaning-making in human nature. Religion is a key ingredient in understanding the human condition, world cultures, and global events, both current and historical.”Anna McGinn ’18, Religion and Philosophy
“I was interested in understanding why people form such strong convictions in what often seems intangible. The major continues to challenge my notions of perception and it asks you to consider the complexities of being human, as it is reflected in art, culture, and draws from across disciplines.”Ari Zuaro ’18, Religion and Studio Art
“I was first drawn to the field of religion for what I saw valuable in its body of knowledge: namely, an understanding of a social phenomenon that has been powerful both historically and in our contemporary world. While this interest in religion’s role and influence in society has continued to be a motivating factor in my studies, as I have gone deeper into my coursework I have found increasingly appealing the specific approach scholars of religion take to their work: one could call it the how as opposed to the what of the field.
“I see this approach in a number of respects, from the empathetic, honest engagement with religious individuals that is apparent in many ethnographies to an interdisciplinarity that allows for complex analyses of religion in the social, political, artistic, or literary spheres of life. So too do I find compelling the interest in self-definition (and self-critique!) within the field that discourages the complacent acceptance of constructed boundaries (between the “religious” and “secular”), definitions (of “agency,” of “the sacred”), and universalized values (“freedom,” “modernity”).
“Though I do not anticipate continued formal education in the field, being able to understand those beliefs and practices most foreign to my own, flexibly approach a topic from many disciplinary angles, and critically examine accepted truths will all surely prove my study of religion to be a “practical” background for wherever the coming years might take me.”Gus Leinbach ’17, Religion