Comparative Religion

There are several different ways in which human beings comprehend the world: philosophy, scientific practice and, perhaps the most common, religion. Religion serves a variety of psychological, emotional, personal and social needs, but each religion goes about it in a different creatively dynamic way.

The comparative religion minor methodologically teaches students how to study religion. Courses engage students to participate in an active study and dialogue on the topics of religion and faith. Students are welcome in the program regardless of current faith and are taught to examine the philosophy of religion in an ethnographic context.

Program Highlights

  • Provides a safe place where students can talk openly about religion and faith, regardless of views
  • Develop a basic understanding of different world practices
  • Professors guide students through the contrasts and similarities of world religions through logical argumentation and historical evidence
  • Study ethics in a global religious context
  • Produce ethnographies to conceptualize logic through field work
  • Develop researching skills by immersing themselves in religious traditions or places of worship in the surrounding communities
  • Synthesize and integrate knowledge and research through a process of analysis into coherent, descriptive documentation
  • Versed in research, both field and textual, strategic thinking and organizational writing


Student/ Faculty Research

Comparative religion minors work with faculty members to formulate projects and complete significant academic field research, sometimes for presentation at national or regional conferences. External resources serve as learning materials in the form of guest speakers and class trips to religious centers including churches, temples, mosques and more.

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Pacific's comparative religion courses encourage students to explore religion in a global perspective through a cultural lens. Courses approach religions from the standpoints of anthropology, sociology, art, history and philosophy. Faculty members specialize in different areas of religious study including Asian religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, Abrahamic religions such as Christianity and Judaism, and Caribbean religions such as Santeria and Vodou.

Students are required to visit places of worship of their own choosing, that are outside their current religion, and attend religious ceremonies or observe or interact in cultural practices.


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