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Special Studies & Honors

Special Studies

Advanced students in the Religion Department—normally senior majors who have had four semester courses above the introductory level—may arrange for special studies with faculty members. These courses can be for 2–4 credits, and for a semester or a year. Topics and logistics are worked out with the designated faculty member, and must be submitted to the department for approval.

REL 400 Special Studies
2 to 4 credits
Offered both semesters each year

REL 408d Special Studies
8 credits
Full year course


Majors in the Religion Department are encouraged to apply to the departmental Honors Program and pursue a significant research project of their own design. Students in the Honors Program develop, research, write, and defend a thesis in close consultation with a faculty mentor. For further details please contact the Director of Honors.

Director: Lois Dubin

430d Honors Project
8 credits
Full year course

Recent Special Studies

Religion and Comics
Constance Kassor, Spring 2016

Theological Aesthetics
Carol Zaleski, Spring 2016

Interreligious Dialogue and the Meaning of Tradition
Carol Zaleski, Fall 2015

Writing Religious Fiction
Suleiman Mourad, Spring 2014

Reading Ibn Ishaq
Suleiman Mourad, Fall 2013

Healing and Trauma in South Asia
Andy Rotman, Spring 2013

Secularism in South Asia
Andy Rotman, Spring 2013

Intermediate Sanskrit 2
Andy Rotman, Spring 2013, Spring 2008

Intermediate Sanskrit 1
Andy Rotman, Fall 2012, Fall 2007

G.K. Chesterton and Ian Ker: The Art of Biography
Carol Zaleski, Spring 2012

Marketing the Marketplace
Andy Rotman, Spring 2012

The Wives of the Prophet
Suleiman Mourad, Fall 2011

John Henry Newman and British Romanticism
Carol Zaleski, Spring 2011

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien: Evidence of Influence
Carol Zaleski, Fall 2010

Pilgrimage Rituals: A Comparative Study between Islam and Buddhism
Suleiman Mourad, Fall 2010



Recent Honors Projects

Emily Branton, "God as Parent, Partner, King: Reevaluating Metaphors of Love and Obedience in the Hebrew Bible" (2014)

Natalie Sargent, “αδελφοι: A Comparative Study of Pauline Theology of Salvation to Jews and Gentiles in Acts 28 and Romans 9-11” (2012)

Sarah L. Woodbury, “Separations at Sinai: Boundaries in Exodus 19” (2010)

Chelsea Sunday Kline, “Give Us Children or We Shall Die: Modern Reproductive Technology and Jewish Law” (2008)