The Field of Asian Religions is designed to attract a diverse body of students with multiple interests and talents and to prepare them for careers in teaching and research. Given the range of topics in which our students might specialize, no uniform curriculum will meet the needs of every student. Students will develop a program of study in consultation with their principal advisor and Special Committee. Nevertheless, Ph.D. candidates are expected to demonstrate a high degree of competency in several areas:
Major Field. Students are expected to specialize in a religious tradition or traditions within a single cultural zone. Such a mastery will include an understanding of the dynamics of religion (praxis, doctrine, community, etc.) within a cultural context, the study of the relevant language(s), and course work as necessary in related fields (history, literature, anthropology, art and material culture, etc.). The major field will provide the student with professional mastery of a given specialization within the academic study of religion.
Minor Field. The purpose of the minor field is to provide a basis for disciplinary or area comparison and to broaden the teaching capabilities of our students. Students will demonstrate breadth of study by subspecializing in at least one tradition or discipline ancillary to their major field. The minor field may be fulfilled by one of the following concentrations:
(1) competence in a related tradition for comparison with the major field (i.e., another tradition in the same cultural sphere or the same tradition in another cultural sphere) or
(2) competence in a related discipline for application to work in the major field (e.g., anthropological/ethnographic training for the study of popular religion).History, Theory, and Methods of the Academic Study of Religion. Students must demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the history, theories, and methods involved in the academic study of religion. They are expected to have mastery of the material covered in ASIAN 449 (History and Methods in Academic Study of Religion). Other courses may focus more specifically on the application of a specific approach to a particular tradition or traditions.