Religious Studies

The Religious Studies curriculum presents a critical inquiry into the religious dimension of human experience. After an introduction to the nature of religion and the methods employed in its study, students can select from a variety of courses exploring specific topics such as sacred texts, issues in sexual ethics, questions of life and death, and the wide variety of devotions and practices that animate religious communities.

The study of religion allows for an informed appreciation of the motivations and values given expression in religious belief, and the way in which culture shapes, and is shaped by, that belief. Students may take courses offered by the Religious Studies Department as part of the required core curriculum, as electives, or as part of a major or minor program in religious studies under the direction of a departmental advisor.

Majors and minors in Religious Studies are eligible for induction to Theta Alpha Kappa, the national honor society for religious studies and theology. In addition, each year the department honors the academic achievement of an outstanding senior with the Mary Irene Gallagher Theology Medal, Fairfield's oldest academic award.

Core Curriculum Options

The Orientation Level of the Magis core curriculum requires students to take an introductory course in Religious Studies, which can be any course at the 1000 level.

At the Exploration Level (2000-level courses), students must choose two further courses in two separate departments, selected from History, Philosophy, or Religious Studies. As such, students may select a 2000-level course in Religious Studies to fulfill part of the exploration-level requirement.