Religious Studies in Practice
Religious Studies often stresses the study of sacred texts and religious ideas, but it also recognizes the social and practical dimensions of religion. Often the best way to learn about these is through firsthand experience, or even better, to roll up your sleeves and build something yourself.
Sandy Huntington's course Architecture of the Sacred begins with an exploration of the spiritual principles that inform alternative architecture and ends up with the class designing and building a full sized structure. The Strawbale House at Hartwick's Pine Lake Campus is the first fully realized result of this course.
Students in Gary Herion's course on Judaism learn about the Festival of Sukkot by building a Sukkah on campus.
The department sponsors overseas programs to Israel and India, weather and politics permitting.
We also make trips to churches, temples, monasteries, utopian societies, museums, and other interesting sacred places. In recent years, destinations have included the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper, New York, and the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.