About the Department
From the founding of the first universities in the twelfth century, theology has been a constitutive part of what has been traditionally considered the liberal arts. As a Catholic college, Emmanuel College is committed to advancing the academic study of religion as integral to its mission of promoting the liberal arts.
Because religion plays a central role in human culture, religious literacy is critical for anyone wishing to understand our rapidly globalizing world. The study of theology and religion allows for the contemplation of crucial human questions regarding the origins of the universe, the purpose of existence, the nature of morality, and our final destiny. The Theology and Religious Studies program engages all religions with openness and respect. Emmanuel welcomes students of all faiths as well as those who do not identify with a religious faith. Courses are offered in Catholicism and Christianity, as well as world religions such as Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Chinese religions. Courses frequently consider questions about poverty, ecology, and human rights, and an emphasis on experiential learning, service learning, and social justice helps prepare students to be caring and astute global citizens.
Rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition and committed to the social justice, the department serves a diverse student population by providing the opportunity to explore a variety of religious traditions. Our courses are designed to help students:
- Understand religion as a significant dimension of human experience
- Explore religions as historically rooted and constantly developing traditions
- Explain how religious worldviews shape moral reasoning and practice
- Analyze primary texts from major religious traditions
- Discover the interactions of religion with society, politics, the arts, and culture