Track III: Religion & Society
Track III Coordinator: Adam Seligman
Affiliated Track Faculty
This interdisciplinary program seeks to examine the relation of religion and society in modern or traditional cultures. This program guides students to develop generalized skills in the social sciences and specialized expertise in sociology, anthropology, social ethics or social history. Research programs within this track involve the application of one or more of these disciplines to one or more particular geographic area(s) or historic period(s), as chosen by the student, in close consultation with the Advisor.
Track-Specific Admission Requirements:
Students entering the Religion and Society track should show transcript evidence of knowledge in their proposed area of specialization. Students must also have a strong background in one or more of the following areas: sociology, anthropology, social ethics or social history. Further background in the humanities or social sciences is strongly encouraged and required where relevant to a student’s proposed program of research.
Please note that this prerequisite is in addition to those outlined in the Admissions section of our website.
Track-Specific Course Requirements:
Students in the Religion and Society track are required to take Social Scientific Approaches to Religion (RN 796).
Track-Specific Language & Research Competence Requirements:
Students in the Religion and Society track may be permitted, with the approval of their adviser, to substitute for the second modern foreign language, an exam in a relevant research methodology (such as statistics, ethnographic fieldwork methods, or other forms of qualitative or quantitative research skills).
Track-Specific Basic Structure of Qualifying Examinations:
Religion and Society: Students will normally take three examinations. The first will test expertise in Social Science Approaches to the Study of Religion, and will be divided into two roughly equal sections. The first half of the examination, based on knowledge of approximately 25-30 core texts, will be administrated to all students in the unit. The second half of the examination, of also approximately 25-30 core texts, will be more streamlined to specialties such as Anthropology, Sociology, Social Ethics, or Social History. The second exam will test the student’s knowledge of a broad area of competence, including the ability to situate theoretical and methodological knowledge within a broad geographic and/or historical area. Comparative perspectives will be encouraged where relevant. The third exam will test the student’s competence in the chosen specialized area of research, including the ability to articulate the topic’s relevance to the broader, comparative horizon of the study of religion.