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Department of Religious Studies

College of Arts & Sciences

Student Learning Outcomes - Majors

A student who majors in Religious Studies at the University of Wyoming will be able to...
1) Demonstrate critical thinking about religions.
  1. Describe and compare the key features of five world religions.
  2. Explain in detail how the key features compare in two world religions.
  3. Delineate the key features of a religion and discuss how they interact.
2) Delineate how scholars have variously defined “religion” and its key components, including cultural contexts, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of those definitions and their historical contexts, and analyze the methodologies arising from theories of “religion.”
  1. Describe how different scholars have defined “religion” and the histories of those definitions; evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of those definitions; discuss cultural assumptions embedded in definitions.
  2. Explain how the definitions relate to the features of at least two of the world’s religions.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of different theories of what constitutes a religion and how those theories relate to actual religions.
  4. Articulate how different definitions and/or theories provide insights into religious phenomena.
  5. Apply in-depth knowledge of a theory of religion to religious phenomena.
3) Analyze how a religion’s components interact with the culture to which it belongs, explaining how it shapes and is shaped by the surrounding society.
  1. Articulate how religions shape aspects of people’s everyday lives. Discuss aspects such as: family organization and relationships, social structure, food choices, clothing choices, ethical behavior, or gender roles.
  2. Analyze how religions interact with popular culture (as evidenced by literature, visual arts, film, music, TV, the Internet, etc.) and how that interaction functions to influence public opinion and belief.
  3. Analyze how non-religious aspects of societies shape religions and vice versa.
4) Use standard, neutral, and objective scholarly terminology to explain and critique religions. This includes speaking and writing about religions in a balanced way, without prescription or prejudice, advocacy or polemics, or devotional or apologetic perspectives.
  1. Demonstrate the use of academic and analytical terminology relevant to the field of Religious Studies.
  2. Use neutral, descriptive terminology in papers, oral presentations, and class discussions.
  3. Discuss religions and their features using the language of academic discourse.
  4. Develop critical empathy in the evaluation of ambiguous and/or controversial phenomena.
  5. Distinguish between analytical representations of religion and truth-claims that require belief.
  6. Synthesize in-depth knowledge of the features of at least one religion using theories of religion.

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Department of Religious Studies

Kristine Utterback, Head

Office Associate:

Clayleen Rivord

Ross Hall, Room 220

Department 3392

1000 E. University Ave

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-3204


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