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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 each 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 a year-end assignment that integrates theory, method and interpretation in the study of religion and culture, documenting the students' learning over the course of the year.

Through the yearlong sequenced seminars in Comparison: Theory and Reflection I (4 credits) and Comparison: Theory and Reflection II (4 credits), students learn philosophical and anthropological approaches to the study of religion and culture. Students apply their learning in practice through a second set of seminars, Methods in Research and Experiential Learning I (4 units) and Methods in Research and Experiential Learning II (4 units).

In addition to these four seminars taught by the CRC traveling faculty, students take coursework specific to each country's major religions and cultures (16 credits for 4 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 32 credits for the academic year.

Courses (credits)

Comparison: Theory and Reflection I

4

Comparison: Theory and Reflection II

4

Methods in Research and Experiential Learning I

4

Methods in Research and Experiential Learning II

4

Religions, Culture, and Modernity in Taiwan

4

Religions, Culture, and Modernity in Thailand

4

Religions, Culture, and Modernity in India

4

Religions, Culture, and Modernity in Turkey

4