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The Department of Religion offers undergraduate instruction for Religion majors and minors, and graduate instruction at the master’s and doctorate levels. The undergraduate program offers courses in Asian Religion, Islam, Jewish or Christian scriptures, and the comparative study of Religions. The graduate program prepares students for teaching and research in the subdisciplines of Religion in the Americas, Religion and Nature, Hindu Traditions, Buddhist Traditions, and Global Islam.
The library's collection reflects the programs that have evolved over the years in the Department of Religion. The early history of the department emphasized western religious traditions (Christianity and Judaism). The collection of Christian materials includes primary source material in vernacular and translation and secondary sources emphasizing English but including other western languages as well. Among its primary sources are Migne's Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Fathers of the Church, and the Corpus Christianorum Series Latina and Continuatio Mediaevalis. During the 1960s and 1970s the department expanded into South Asian religions and the library built a collection of materials in Hinduism (e.g. Puranas and Vedic texts), Sikh and Jainism. During the 1990s and within recent years appointments have been made in Islam, East Asian Buddhism, Religion in the Americas, and Religion and Nature. The collections have expanded accordingly. A complete set of vernacular Chinese Buddhism scriptures (Tripitika) was acquired as well as the Pali Canon. Within the last few years the library has expanded its holdings in Islamic Studies and Religion and the Environment.
Filling out the library's collection of Religion materials is the outstanding Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica, Latin American and Caribbean Collection, Asian Studies Collection, African Studies Collection, and the Rare Book Collection.
The Religion collection encompasses all historical periods, all formats, most western languages for secondary literature (with a main emphasis on English) and some vernacular primary source material in Greek, Latin, Chinese, Japanese, Sanskrit, Hindi, and Pali.