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Guide to Thematic Concentrations in the Religion Major

The requirements for the religion major are designed to allow for flexibility and student initiative in mind. While there are a number of established concentrations that you can choose from (for example, tradition based concentrations), students are encouraged to think creatively and engage in a dialogue with their advisor to propose alternative concentrations. Consider, for example, the thematic concentrations listed below: 

Religion and Politics

Reli0201 (Religion and Violence) / Reli 0254 (Islam in South Asia) / Reli0273 (Religion and Capitalism) / Reli 0297 (Middle East Political Religion) / Reli0376 (Religion and American Politics) / Reli0352 (Fundamentalism and Religion) / PSCI 0438 (Political Islam)/ Reli 0398 (Christianity and Social Justice)/ Reli0375 (Church and State)

Religion and Modernity

Reli 1074 (Buddhism in the Modern World) / Reli 0261 (Jewish Thought: Modern Era) / Reli 0229 (Religion in Modern China) / Reli 0359 (Fundamentalism and Religion) /Reli 0362 (Religion and Nationalism)

Religion and Class

Reli0248 Religion and Class in South Asia / Reli0273 (Religion and Capitalism) / Reli0298 (Privilege and Poverty) / Reli 0398 (Christianity and Social Justice)


Reli0231 (The Way of the Ascetics) / Reli0238 (Literature and Mystical Experience) / Reli 0350 (Sufism: The Mystical Tradition of Islam) / Reli 0290 (Women and the Sacred) 

Sacred Texts

Reli 0120 (Asian Religious Classics) / Reli 1023 (Early Taoist Texts) / Reli 0252 (the Qur’an) / Reli 0280 (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament) / Reli 0180 (Intro to Biblical Literature) / Reli 0332 (The Ten Commandments); RELI/LITS 0282 (New Testament in Narrative and Art) 

Important notes

  1. Please remember that the above themes are just examples. All majors, whether pursuing an established concentration or a student-initiated one, must consult with their major advisor to assure the feasibility of the concentration and to anticipate course availability.
  2.  Please note that the list of classes under each theme above are not meant to be comprehensive. The faculty often change their syllabi, sometimes significantly,  and therefore it is likely that there are classes currently on the offer that can fit under one of the above themes but are not listed. 
  3. Please remember to talk to your faculty advisor (and the chair of the department) as not all these courses are offered on a regular basis.

Department of Religion

Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753