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2002-2004 Undergraduate Catalog
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[College of Arts and Sciences]


Professor Russell T. McCutcheon, Chairperson
Office: 212-A Manly Hall

The Department of Religious Studies is engaged in the study of religion as an important element in human culture. Courses are designed to provide a student with an opportunity to study the religious traditions, practices, and ideas of Eastern and Western civilization. Students may select courses in religious studies with any of the following objectives in mind: general cultural electives; a liberal arts major in the bachelor of arts program; a liberal arts minor in the bachelor of arts or the bachelor of science program; preparation for a theological seminary or for graduate study in religion or a related field. An endowed Chair of Judaic Studies provides for a professor and a postdoctoral position for research.

Course offerings are structured so that students will encounter various aspects of the academic study of religion, and in accordance with the professional interests and abilities of the faculty. The following four areas indicate distribution requirements for the major and the minor in religious studies:

Requirements for the religious studies major. The major in religious studies requires 33 hours, including 3 hours from each of the four areas (Area One: Self, Society, and Culture; Area Two: American Religion; Area Three: Western Religion; Area Four: Asian Religion), two additional "text" courses (one from Asian religion and one from any of the other three areas), 12 hours from courses numbered 300 or above, including REL 490*, and a 3-hour religious studies elective (any level, any area). A minimum of 12 hours at the 300 or 400 level must be earned on this campus.

Requirements for the religious studies minor. The minor in religious studies requires 21 hours. The requirements are for areas of study rather than particular courses:

*Students should sign up for Capstone Seminar (REL 490) in the junior or senior year.

A minimum of 6 hours at the 300 or 400 level must be earned on this campus.

A worksheet for major/minor requirements, a syllabus from each course in the department, and graduate catalogs are available in the Religious Studies Office in 212 Manly Hall.

With the permission of the department chairperson, certain other courses in religious studies or in other departments may be included in the major or minor and in the prerequisites for advanced work. No foreign language is required for a major in religious studies beyond the foreign language/computer language requirement of the University Core Curriculum. Many graduate schools, however, require some language proficiency for admission. Students contemplating graduate work should consult the departmental adviser.

Judaic studies minor. The Department of Religious Studies offers a minor in Judaic studies. The adviser for the program is the Aaron Aronov Professor of Judaic Studies. The Judaic studies minor is designed for the undergraduate who seeks a better understanding of the nature and development of the Jewish religion and its many contributions to Western civilization. Students may select from a variety of courses on diverse aspects of Judaism, from its history, practices, morality, Bible, philosophies, and denominations, to the Holocaust, contemporary Jewish-American literature, and the State of Israel. Participants in the Judaic Studies minor who decide to pursue their interest in Judaic studies in Israel are eligible for a $500 scholarship which is awarded annually.*

Requirements for the Judaic studies minor are 21 hours, including REL 110, REL 224, REL 238, and 6 hours at the 300 or 400 level.

*Students taking courses at other institutions must meet all University of Alabama and College of Arts and Sciences residency requirements (see p. 26 and 64).

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