Cultivating a thorough understanding of the world’s religions and the roles of religion throughout history and in contemporary society is at the heart of the Faculty of Religious Studies’ teaching at the undergraduate level. The Faculty takes a multi-disciplinary approach to scholarship on a plurality of religions and incorporates a broad range of perspectives and methods. In studying the world’s religious traditions, we emphasize the ways in which religious expression and practices are embedded in culture, politics, aesthetics, and social change. Texts and traditions, languages and literatures, philosophy and ethics are all integral to our undergraduate programs.
The Faculty’s undergraduate teaching supports two degrees, the B.A. and the B.Th. The Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) offers an intensive study of Christianity primarily for students preparing for the ordained ministry and for other professional careers in pastoral settings such as hospitals and schools. The B.Th. contributes to the professional degree (M.Div.) offered through the Montreal School of Theology with which the Faculty is affiliated.
The B.A. programs in Religious Studies are offered in conjunction with the Faculty of Arts. These programs explore the many cultural, historical and political issues related to both Eastern and Western religions and to religion in comparative perspective. Majors and Minors in World Religions are available, as well as Honours and Joint Honours programs in Religious Studies. In addition, a distinctive strength of the Faculty’s offerings is the Major in Scriptures and Interpretations which allows for a concentration on a particular scriptural tradition (Jewish, Christian, or Hindu and Buddhist scriptures); the Minor in Scriptural Languages supports all these concentrations by providing intensive study of either Indo-Tibetan languages or Biblical Languages. Students frequently combine Majors and Minors in World Religions with a wide range of other B.A. concentrations, highlighting the importance of the rigorous study of religion to many other areas of inquiry.