Religion
Contact
Department Chair:
Cynthia Chapman

Administrative Assistant:
Brenda Hall

Department Email:


Phone: (440) 775-8866
Fax: (440) 775-6910

Location:
Rice Hall 316
10 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Religion

Religion
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Department Overview

Overview
The study of religion at Oberlin can be an integral component of your liberal arts education as well as the foundation for advanced studies in religion or a related discipline. Our curriculum affords an opportunity for concentrated learning in particular religious traditions and specific areas of religious thought and practice.

Why study religion? Religion continues to be a fundamental cultural phenomenon and a prism through which people engage the “big questions” of the 21st century. Society today is more multicultural, multiethnic, and multiracial than at any time in history. Religion majors at Oberlin develop a deep multicultural awareness and effective research, writing, and critical analysis and problem-solving skills enabling them to work in a wide variety of fields.

 
 

Curriculum Overview

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The religious studies program involves three influential approaches: traditional, modern cultural, and region-based. Together, these methods give students a substantial understanding of the history, practices, literature, social ethics, and belief systems of various ancient, classical, and modern civilizations. The study of religion also is interdisciplinary, drawing on modes of study used in anthropology, philosophy, history, archeology, classics, literary criticism, theology, sociology, art, and music.

Religion majors can choose a faculty member as a mentor, and will create a capstone project to synthesize the knowledge and skills developed through their course of study in their major. While some graduates go into academia, many also have successful careers in education, business, and nonprofit secular and religious organizations as interpreters, writers, editors, social workers, policy advisors, lobbyists, or public historians. For some, the religion major leads to the medical or legal professions. Still others have pursued distinct paths: shipbuilding, environmental law, filmmaking, and even puppet performance.

 

 

Upcoming Events

Sept 19 - 12:15pm

Writing about an Epic that Continues to Speak: Banned Books, Politics, and the Academic Study of Religion

12:15-1:15pm, Friday, September 19, 2014
Finney Chapel
Free and open to the public

Paula Richman '74, Oberlin's Danforth Professor of South Asian Religions, studies the Ramayana (a Hindu epic) and Tamil, a language spoken primarily in South India.  She has published two books on Tamil poetry and a book on 20th-century retellings of the Ramayana in Tamil. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Institute of India Studies.

Upcoming Events