In keeping with the mission of Wabash College to educate men to “think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely,” the Religion Department promotes the academic study of religion as part of a rich, wellrounded liberal arts education. We recognize that learning how people have understood and practiced religion throughout history and around the globe is not only important for understanding our world, but also intellectually exciting and personally enriching. In our courses, we encourage broad and rigorous critical thinking about, and engagement with, religion and theology. We use both lectures and discussions, as well as a wide diversity of methods, including those of theology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and history. We invite students to study everything from ancient texts to contemporary issues, from religious traditions that they likely know well to those that are new to them. As such, our courses are intended for all students, including believers, skeptics, and seekers of all kinds. They typically challenge and complicate students’ religious beliefs, while at the same time giving students the tools to broaden and deepen their beliefs. We thus prepare our graduates for success in graduate school, in religious vocations, as teachers of religion, and in all the career options open to liberal arts college graduates. As it has done for many years, the Religion Department also supports a variety of activities on campus, such as the annual Christmas service with the Music Department, the Ramadan Dinner for the Muslim Students Association, a Wednesday religious chapel in the Protestant Christian tradition, the Roman Catholic Newman Club, and other student religious activities.
We try to provide a large number of “entry points” for interested students. Courses numbered in the 100’s are typically lecture courses and are appropriate to take as a first course in religion. Courses numbered in the 200’s without a prerequisite listed are also appropriate to take as a first course but will be smaller discussion classes. Courses numbered in the 300’s are more advanced and have prerequisites as indicated. Religion 490 is usually taken by majors in their senior year.
Comprehensive Examinations: Students write for two days, three hours each day. The usual pattern has been to write on two questions the first day. There is a wide range of questions from which to choose, and questions characteristically draw on material from more than one course. The second day has usually involved writing on one question, focusing on the study of religion.
Requirements for the Major: A minimum of nine course credits including:
A. The history of Christianity, Religion 171 and 172
B. A total of two course credits from the following:
C. A total of two course credits from the following:
D. Religion 297, 298, or 370 taken before the senior year
E. Senior Seminar, Religion 490
F. At least one course at the 200 level or above, apart from those listed under D and E
Requirements for the Minor: a minimum of five course credits, including at least one of the following sequences:
Religion 103 and 104
Religion 141 and 162
Religion 171 and 172
And at least one credit from Religion courses numbered 200 or above.