The study of religion is central to a liberal arts education and thus to the mission of the University of the South: to be liberally educated, Sewanee students ought to have a direct, critical encounter with religion and the most basic questions of meaning and purpose that religion addresses. Religion courses are designed to raise and reflect upon the central and abiding questions that challenge us all: What is the nature of religion? How does religion live in so many different and interesting ways in human culture? How do human beings throughout history express their deepest beliefs, concerns and faiths? Where do we find and how do we make sense of the Holy? What are our moral commitments and obligations? As citizens of the new millennium, how then shall we live in light of computers and in the shadow of concentration camps? From antiquity to postmodernity, China to Chattanooga, religion is to be encountered shaping human experience. At Sewanee the religion department, students and faculty together, through formal classes, independent study, and co-curricular activities investigate the role of religion and the many faces it presents.
Religion is not one field of study but many; by nature the study of religion is a multi-disciplinary effort that requires investigation of history, culture, values, sacred texts, theology, and philosophical thought. Such study requires familiarity with methods of historical analysis, literary criticism, phenomenological description, and cross-cultural, comparative study. For this reason the study of religion complements well other majors, the women's studies minor, and curricular interests.
The religion department faculty teach introductory and upper-level courses in several sub-fields: Asian religions, philosophical theology, ethics and culture, American/Southern religion, and biblical studies. All department faculty teach Introduction to Religion (Relg 111), a course that serves as a gateway into the academic study of religion for majors, minors and for students seeking to meet their general distribution requirement.
Religion 111 or a course in philosophy or humanities is considered foundational for all other courses, except as indicated below. A few courses with specific prerequisites are indicated below. Any religion course satisfies the religion/philosophy core requirement.
Department of Religion
735 University Avenue
Sewanee, TN 37383-1000
Dr. Sid Brown
Office Location: Walsh-Ellett 215
Phone: (931) 598-1529