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4 years
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
Amherst
English
Fall

About this program

Religion

Religion has played a major role, positively and negatively, in the formation of human culture around the globe.

The study of religion at Hampshire is interdisciplinary and interdenominational, allowing exploration of the ways religion has shaped our history, political life, social and cultural institutions, literature, arts, sciences, and even the languages we speak.

Students may focus on a specific religion or on co-evolution of multiple religions in a particular area of the world, may integrate spiritual perspectives into a study of healing, gender, or environmental sustainability, or may critically analyze a sacred text. Respectful of the complexity of their subjects, all bring to their work an awareness of the wider-world implications.

Program content

Sample First-Year Course

Exploring the Divine Feminine

The earliest evidence of religious imagination suggests that the source of all life, death, and rebirth, the power of creation, sustenance, destruction, and re-generation, was first understood as feminine. Goddess worship, arguably the original "religion" of the human species, has survived not only in memory but also in practice to the present day, despite the hostility or indifference of virtually every "world religion" of the past several millennia. This class will look closely at a number of prehistoric and ancient goddess traditions from Europe, the Near East, and South Asia, examining their ancient forms and their enduring legacies. More specifically, this class will begin in the painted caves of prehistoric France and end on the streets of contemporary Kolkota, home to the largest and most vital Mother Goddess festival in the modern world, the Festival of Ma Durga.

Sample Courses at Hampshire

  • American Religious Experience: Literary and Historical Perspectives
  • The American Transcendentalists
  • Asian Religious Texts and Traditions
  • Augustine
  • Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity in the U.S.
  • Buddhist Traditions
  • Culture, Religion, and Environmentalism
  • Daoism, Shamanism, and Shinto: Indigenous Religions of East Asia.
  • Decoding Zen Buddhism
  • The English Bible
  • Exploring the Divine Feminine
  • High Spirits: Reading and Writing about Spiritual Experience
  • Intro to the Buddhist Meditation Tradition
  • Intro to Tibetan Religion: The Four Schools of Tibetan Buddhism
  • Mystics and Texts
  • Myth and Myth Theory
  • Myth, Belief, and Reality in World Literature
  • Nuns, Saints, and Mystics in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
  • Religion in Modern India
  • Religious Experience and Literary Form
  • The Rise of Secular Jewish Culture
  • Topics in Comparative Religion
  • Sacred to the Secular: The Performing Arts of Asia
  • Science in the Islamic World
  • Text, Canon, Tradition: Scriptures and Their Emergence in World Religions
  • Theories of Religion
  • Yoga Traditions: Philosophy, Practice and Narrative

Through the Consortium

  • Ancient Israel (AC)
  • Buddhist Philosophy (SC)
  • Intro to the Qu'ran (MHC)
  • Intro to Philosophy of Religion (MHC)
  • Mary Images and Cults (SC)
  • The Meaning of Life (SC)
  • Religious Movements in America (MHC)
  • Sacred Sound (AC)

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the college website for more information.

Tuition

Tuition fees per semester: $25,500

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About this institute

Hampshire College

Hampshire College is a small liberal arts college located in Amherst, Massachusetts that has been at the forefront of progressive higher education in the United States for over 50 years. Every Hampshire student designs a customized program of study in...


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Contact info

Hampshire College

893
West Street
01002 Amherst Massachusetts
United States of America

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www.hampshire.edu


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