The Department for Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies offers a broad range of academic programs. Students can learn about the culture, history and mythology of the ancient Greek and Roman World, explore world religions in a comparative context and investigate the history and material culture of the ancient Near East and ancient Egypt.
Detailed overviews of our undergraduate programs are outlined in the following pages.
Some of the outcomes students can expect from a CNERS degree are:
- an appreciation of the significance of the study of the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic languages, and what it meant for ancients to write in a languages thoroughly immersed in value systems, ideological frameworks, world views, and customary ways of thinking – habits of thinking that permitted meaningful social/cultural exchange between people;
- an understanding of the origins of many languages such as Arabic, Persian and Hebrew;
- an understanding of the lived world of the Greeks, Romans and Near Eastern populations in terms of spectacle, ideas, book production and translation, monuments and iconography, political invective, and religious plurality and the ability to apply this understanding to current projects, contexts, and contemporary global events;
- a knowledge of the Greek philosophical writings and the ideas that have profoundly influenced the concepts, practices, and structures of the Western World;
- a historically grounded perspective on the legal and cultural heritage of modern cultures;
- the possession of a high degree of applied creativity in the analysis of such social and political issues as the rise and fall of nations, erosion of political structures, and the will of the people expressed in the overthrow of dictators;
- a capacity to participate successfully in communicative projects in appropriate media such as newspapers, blogs, video podcasts, and other social media;
- the skills and experience necessary to analyze complex social phenomena, both ancient and modern, and to talk (communicate) about them in meaningful ways to friends, neighbors, family, and other important constituencies;
- development of an understanding of global ethnic, cultural, and national identities;
- investigation of the origins and a range of interpretations of sacred texts both from an insider’s and outsider’s perspective;
- an understanding of a range of faith-influenced practices, social structures, and societies;
- familiarity with the material remains of ancient religions in the Near East;
- an understanding of Islamic and Jewish legal structures and texts and how these texts play out in particular historical and cultural circumstances;
- the ability to write with flourish the narrative of a degree in CNRS when applying for work, convincing parents and employers of the merits of this Arts degree, and to produce a resume.