Classics – the study of the languages, literatures, and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome – embraces an incredibly diverse range of human voices, passions, and achievements. The beauty and versatility of Latin and Greek are still fresh and powerful today. Study of the art, literature, and history of Greece and Rome brings you into contact with values that are in many ways strange and foreign to our own, but that, in other respects, have played a fundamental role in defining Western legal and political institutions, art and architecture, and concepts of human nature. Classicists are well equipped to understand – and critique – the Western tradition.
Study of religion is essential to the understanding of human culture and the contemporary world. As an interdisciplinary academic field, Religious Studies approaches religious phenomena as facets of culture, without privileging any particular tradition as the final arbiter or ultimate truth. Indeed, the very notion of ultimate truth itself is subject to critical inquiry: Why, in particular contexts, are some truth claims deemed normative and others considered dangerous deviations? How do such truth claims function to articulate boundaries of identity within and between human communities? It is precisely this process of critically interrogating all facets of religious behavior and belief that defines the academic study of religion, which thus differs markedly from the study of theology within ecclesiastical or parochial contexts.