In their research, scholars of religion employ a variety of methods to analyze “texts” ranging from historical documents and objects of visual culture (e.g., icons, monuments, architectural sites, paintings, photographs) to ritual practices. This course acquaints students with both the methods and the materials utilized in the field of religious studies. Through guided exercises, students learn research skills for locating and identifying primary and secondary sources related to religion in different times and places. They also evaluate articles from a range of scholarly journals in order to understand the dominant modes for explaining/analyzing primary sources. Finally, students apply these scholarly frameworks to a series of primary sources. While required for Religion majors preparing to write senior thesis, this class is also open to students interested in developing their ability to engage with and analyze primary sources.
At the end of the workshop, you will be able to:
(1) understand how to formulate a manageable research question
(2) locate sources (including books and journal articles) that will help answer your research questions
(3) evaluate sources
(4) find resources to help you write and revise your final paper