Global Humanities and Religions

What is Global Humanities and Religions?

The Humanities include the study of philosophy, religion, history, literature, and the arts. The Humanities — History of Culture program supports study of religions and of cultural history in Europe and the Americas, China, Japan, South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and in predominantly Islamic areas with attention to historical development and cross-cultural interaction, both in the past and modern period.

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Global Humanities and Religions Degrees

Humanities—History of Culture, BA

Students in this major acquire skills broadly applicable to professional careers. These include problem solving, critical thinking, research skills, integrative skills, and written and oral communication skills. While preparing students for knowledgeable participation in civic life, these also provide a solid foundation for careers in both public and private settings.

Contact

Seán Murphy, Program Advisor
murphys4@wwu.edu | 360-650-4870

Religion and Culture, BA

The BA in Religion and Culture provides scholarly, critical, nonsectarian study of religions. Students study religious beliefs, practices, identities and organizations, and how they have influenced and been influenced by other aspects of society and culture.

Contact

Holly Folk, Program Advisor
Holly.Folk@wwu.edu | 360-650-6875

Global Humanities and Religions at Western

Western’s Humanities program attracts students who want to major in more than one humanities discipline, using interdisciplinary methods of investigation.

Students acquire a substantial knowledge of religious, philosophical, literary and aesthetic movements in the history of Western culture. Students also study works of the humanities in at least one other culture, and that culture’s history. Using methods from different humanities disciplines, students learn to analyze individual works of the humanities and to relate them to social and cultural developments. Learning how to understand cultural differences and cultural change helps students exercise leadership in a more closely knit, global world. 

The study of humanities focuses on how cultures change. The humanities include the disciplines which study philosophy, religion, history, literature, and the arts. Western's Humanities — Religion and Culture major provides scholarly, non-sectarian study of religions. Students study religious beliefs, practices, arts, identities, and institutions; they study how religions have influenced and been influenced by historical changes in other aspects of society and culture. Learning how to understand people of different religions helps students exercise leadership in settings of religious diversity and conflict. 

The concentration includes the study of religious tradition in both a broad survey of Western culture and a focus on one non-Western culture. Students study the origin, history, and methods of the academic study of religion as it has developed in modern Europe and North America.

The Department of Global Humanities and Religions is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

What grabbed my attention in the Department of Global Humanities and Religions were the passions that I had with world cultures and its religions. Humanities gave me the binoculars of history, literature, philosophy, and religion. These lenses enabled me to view other cultures and to empathize and understand others.

Vivian Kwan
Student

Explore courses

REL 232 – Myth and Folklore

HUMA 281 – Representations of Otherness

REL 345 – Fierce Goddesses of India

HIST 321 – Reformation Europe and the Age of Religious Wars

HUMA 323 – The Romantic Paradox: Love, Life and Death

Hands-on-Experience and Internships

The small size of classes and seminars in the Humanities program encourages close relationships between students and faculty. Students conduct independent research on topics of their own choosing. Working closely with faculty, students learn to formulate problems clearly; to consider and evaluate different methods and concepts; to do efficient and thorough research; and to write clearly, concisely and effectively.

We encourage the objective study of religion and culture. But because religions pose moral questions, the study of religion allows for a second type of inquiry as well, one rooted in a subjective, evaluative response. Religious studies is the ultimate interdisciplinary adventure.

Holly Folk
Faculty

What can you do with Global Humanities and Religions?

The Humanities — History of Culture major has proved to be excellent preparation for professional careers in teaching, law, libraries, museums, or archive administration, and for research and administrative positions with a wide variety of businesses and non-profit organizations.

The Humanities — Religion and Culture major is particularly helpful for students who plan careers in education, and the ministry or graduate study in religion and has proved to be excellent preparation for professional careers in teaching, law, library science, archive administration, and for research and administrative positions with businesses and non-profit organizations.

Graduates have gone on to a variety of professional graduate schools, including law, library and information science, and conflict resolution. Students who have done excellent work in the department have succeeded in graduate academic programs in literature, history, and the study of religion.

Global Humanities and Religions careers

  • Attorney 
  • Teacher
  • Professor 
  • Librarian 
  • Writer 
  • Business Administrator 
  • Historian 
  • Non-Profit Organization Administrator 
  • Congressional Aid 
  • Research Assistant 
  • Editor 
  • Lobbyist

Related Majors

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