In the AOK Civilizations category, all four courses must emphasize either history
or philosophy or religious studies. Two courses must be in history. Two courses must
be in religious studies or philosophy.
The phenomenon of religion is a universal dimension of human life and culture. Belief
in a transcendent dimension of life has inspired drama, dance, painting, poetry,
and the rituals involved in birth, initiation into adulthood, marriage, and death.
Humankind's values, history, culture, hopes, and fears would be incomprehensible
without an understanding of the religious systems and symbols underlying them. It
is, therefore, essential that a well-educated person be exposed to the study of
religion. Further, according to our college’s mission statement, "The purpose of
a Randolph-Macon education is to develop the mind and the character of its students.
They are challenged to communicate effectively, to think analytically and critically,
to experience and appreciate the creative process, to develop qualities of leadership,
and to synthesize what they know with who they are." Through the academic discipline
of religious studies, the student confronts religion in all its complexity and diversity.
Through this involved and involving study, the student develops critical and analytical
skills. Moreover, the study of religion challenges the student to strive for humanity’s
highest moral and ethical ideals, and nourishes the uniquely human resources of
creativity and imagination. In this way, Religious Studies uniquely enables students
to synthesize what they learn with who they are, and who they want to become. The
study of religion is, therefore, an integral part of the liberal arts curriculum
at Randolph-Macon College.
To obtain these goals, courses approved as offering an exposure to Religious Studies
will follow any of the following three general strategies: