Be curious

Sacred Things
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What does a student of religion study?

The study of religion is a crucial part of the wider study of human cultures, global affairs, and personal identities.  Contemporary society in the U.S. is increasingly shaped by diverse and conflictual religious claims, even as the great majority of public high schools provide their graduates with little if any introduction to the formal study of religion.  In the Religion Department we use multiple secular approaches to explore the vast array of myths, rituals, ethical systems, and social formations that human beings have created in response to what they perceive to be powers beyond the human. Our students receive extensive personal attention in our small classes as they gain religious literacy and develop a critical understanding of the role of religion in the world, an essential preparation for global citizenship today.

Major requirements

Beyond the classroom

“Spirited” Exhibit a Product of Faculty/Student Collaboration

Objects on displaySeveral years ago, professor of religion Vicki Brennan began discussing with then UVM Marsh-Professor-at-Large J. Lorand Matory ways to interpret the Yoruba religion for a region largely unfamiliar with African spirituality. What if there could be a public display of sacred objects? What if the exhibit, say in a museum, could include other faiths that emerged from sacred practices of enslaved Africans, like Haitian Vodou and Cuban Santeria? And what if students could be involved in creating the exhibition?

“Spirited” Exhibit a Product of Faculty/Student Collaboration - full article


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Related Information


Religious Literacy in Professions  - Undergraduate Certificate

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the BA with Religion major degree, students will be able to:

  1.  analyze religious phenomena using appropriate interpretive approach(es), e.g., historical, cultural, sociological, psychological, phenomenological, etc.
  2.  formulate a research question in the study of religion that draws upon one or more theoretical approaches, effectively collect and analyze evidence relevant to that question, and write a substantial research paper that articulates a clear argument or position on the question based on that evidence, and present these research results orally
  3.  apply their religious literacy to an understanding of contemporary issues