Areas of Concentration
Graduates will have expertise in the religious traditions in their selected historical and/or geographical area of Asia, as well as a general knowledge of Asian religions. They will understand the wider historical, political, economic, and cultural contexts in which religion is embedded, and will have the language skills needed for reading primary sources or conducting field work. They will be able to relate their own area of interest to the study of religion in general, and will be trained to apply the methods and theories of Religious Studies. They will be well-prepared for academic positions focusing on Asian religions in Religious Studies departments.
This specialization deals with the character and interactions of Greco-Roman religions, ancient Judaism, and early Christianity. Students will develop primary expertise in one of these three areas; they will also do significant work in the other two. There will be a strong emphasis on mastery of the requisite languages and on a range of appropriate methodologies. In addition, all students will receive training in archaeological analysis so that they can deal with the literature and the material culture of these traditions. The chronological focus is on the Hellenistic, Roman, and Late Antique periods. Graduates will be prepared for Religious Studies appointments that involve research and teaching in the following areas: the religion of Israel, Greek and/or Roman religion, formative Judaism and the rise of normative Judaism, New Testament and Christian Origins, early Christian history and literature, and Late Antiquity.
Graduates from this area of concentration will have expertise in the history of the religious traditions of Europe and the Middle East, their interactions between these religious traditions, and the historical and cultural contexts within which these religions are embedded. They will have focused their scholarship on one of three areas: Jewish Studies, Classical Islam, or the History of Christianity, and will have the skills in languages and research techniques necessary for their scholarship. They will be well-prepared for academic positions in Religious Studies departments defined either by the history of a religious tradition, by a geographical region, or by a thematic topic.
This area of concentration emphasizes contacts and exchanges across borders. It frames the study of religion in terms of the Atlantic World, the Indo-Pacific World, and the western hemisphere. The concentration prepares students to teach a range of courses that survey religion in the wider geographical context and to conduct research that breaks new ground by analyzing religious practices both within and across the western hemisphere. To meet these goals this concentration requires: 1) specialization in a narrower geographical area (e.g., Latin America or the United States); 2) training in a methodological approach (e.g., archival research or fieldwork); and 3) competence in the languages necessary to conduct original research (e.g., Spanish or a Mayan language).
This area of concentration allows graduate students to explore topics that traverse geographical or cultural lines, or that focus on conceptual issues not limited to a particular geographical region. Graduates of this area will normally have fulfilled the requirements of one of the other areas of concentration as well. They will have knowledge of the theoretical and methodological approaches necessary for their topic as well as the historical and cultural contexts in which their studies are embedded. They will have expertise in the languages and research methodologies necessary for their scholarship. They will be prepared for positions in Religious Studies departments defined both by geographical region and thematic focus.