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Academic Program

CRC is distinguished by its experiential approach, its interdisciplinary academics, and its emphasis on self-critical participation in the learning process. CRC emphasizes deepening sophistication and self-critical awareness by training students simultaneously in philosophical and anthropological approaches to the study of religion and culture. In addition to extensive reading, students attend lectures and discussions as well as religious festivals, events, rituals and retreats. In contrast to many other study abroad programs, CRC students are regularly taught by local scholars and practitioners whose way of teaching is often as instructive as its content.

Students work through their experiences by writing short reflective response papers and producing multimedia presentations. At the end of the term students return to their work to look for underlying patterns and themes and produce final comprehensive and comparative papers and presentations. This work culminates in an assignment that integrates theory, method and interpretation in the study of religion and culture, documenting the students' learning over the course of the semester.

Through the Director’s seminar, Introduction to Comparative Cultural Studies (3 units), students learn philosophical and anthropological approaches to the study of religion and culture. Students apply their learning in practice through the Assistant Director’s seminar, Methods in Field Research (4 units). In addition to these seminars taught by the CRC traveling faculty, students take coursework specific to each country's major religions and cultures (9 credits for 3 courses). These courses draw upon numerous local teachers and experiences. Such a course may consist, for example, of four lectures from one local professor, three from another, two site visits with an expert guide, a service learning day with a local organization, a three-day retreat led by practitioners, and a number of assignments devised and evaluated by the CRC traveling faculty. In this way students come face to face with cultural difference in the classroom and outside it, processing their experience and learning with faculty that travel with them in all four countries.

All courses offered are required courses for a total of 16 credits for the semester.

Courses (credits)

Introduction to Comparative Cultural Studies

3

Methods in Field Research

4

Religions, Culture, and Modernity in Turkey

3

Religions, Culture, and Modernity in India

3

Religions, Culture, and Modernity in Taiwan

3