Religious Studies Minor
What does it mean to minor in Religious Studies?
Learn about the diverse cultures of our increasingly connected world. All major cultures continue to be influenced by religious traditions and ideas, and citizens need to make well-informed judgments about the cultural forces shaping global events.
Offered from the Department of Philosophy and Religion, religious studies is the non-sectarian, academic study of religion. Students learn to understand sympathetically yet critically the world’s religions, and to explore the phenomenon of religion itself as a prominent component of human life and culture. Religious studies minors cultivate many skills that serve them well in any career, such as critical thinking, textual analysis, debating skills, curiosity, open-mindedness, ethics, decision making, and understanding other cultures and ways of life.
A minor in religious studies consists of 6 religious studies courses. A maximum of 2 courses may come from the following approved courses taught outside the department:
- AH 330: Medieval Art
- AH 332: Early Christian, Byzantine & Islamic Art
- Anth 308: Archaeology of Death and Burial
- Anth 312: Muslims in the West
- Anth 314: Islam and Global Politics
- Anth 323: Indians of North America
- Anth 327: Indians of South America
- Anth 404: Southern Folklore
- Clc 327: Greek and Roman Religions
- Eng 376: Studies in Asian Literature
- Hst 310: Historians of Medieval Christianity
- Hst 311: Medieval Church and Empire
- Hst 319: Reformation Europe
- Hst 355: Water in the Middle East
- Hst 434: US Religious History
- Hst 455: History of Religion in the South
Why is the University of Mississippi a good place for religious studies?
Our faculty are top scholars with prestigious credentials engaged in a wide range of religious inquiry: some of us are historians, exploring how different religious traditions grow and change; others are ethicists, who study moral traditions and communal practices; others are biblical scholars who focus on ancient texts; and others of us are ethnographers and anthropologists, studying the enactment of religious beliefs through ritual. Second, all of us are genuinely dedicated to teaching and interested in our students.
Dr. Sarah Moses, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, earned her Ph.D. at Boston College. Her central research involves social and religious ethics, and she is author of Ethics and the Elderly. She is currently working on a chapter about ethics and contemporary aging for an edited volume on Christian ethics.
An award-winning teacher, Dr. Moses oversees internships and services-learning projects. She teaches a Medical Humanities class that provides a weekly shadowing experience at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi combined with observations in class and readings with different viewpoints on medicine from the humanities and from around the world. “The goal is to gain a deeper understanding of factors that shape the human experience of illness and medicine in a contemporary clinical setting, such as historical, cultural, societal, emotional, economic, or religious factors. Students get a holistic perspective on medicine that will help them, whether they plan to be doctors, healthcare administrators, policy advocates, or hospital chaplains.”
Why study religious studies at UM? “The comparative study of religion and ethical values gives students an important lens on the diverse cultures and societies of the world in which they live. Whether they are going on to a career in healthcare or business, students gain broader insight into human experience and the values and institutions which influence human behavior.”
“I believe the study of religion is an important aspect of expanding your understanding of the world around you and opens your eyes to the views of others. The study of religion will challenge your critical thinking and writing skills and will make you a better citizen and community member.” – Kyle Brassell (2019)
“Religious studies broadened my horizons and opened my mind to move to another country and excel there. The things I learned were intriguing and vital to who I am today. As an aspiring social worker, I know that my degree will help me to accept those that are different from me. I will have at least a basic understanding of their religious worldview.” – Jessica Williams (2014)
Whom should I contact to learn more?