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Study. Reflect. Question.

The Religion Department develops practical knowledge, spiritual depth, and ethical citizenship through exposure to the history, beliefs, and practices of Quakerism, the major religions of the world, and faith-based social justice movements. The curriculum is rooted in religious literacy and cultural studies approach which distinguishes the academic study of religion from devotional faith-based instruction. This approach also emphasizes religions as internally diverse, evolving, and changing over time, and embedded in all dimensions of human experience. Courses provide a perspective that includes a diversity of western and non-western lenses and many consider non-religious worldviews. We do this through exploration of sacred texts and student-centered discussions. The curriculum fosters critical examination of ourselves in the world, diversity in the Westtown School community, and the role of religion in contemporary culture.

Distinguishing Features
  • Religion academic credit for each year
  • Exploration of Quakerism as foundational to the Westtown experience
  • Required study about Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam
  • Variety of Religion elective choices
  • Reflection, mindfulness, and respectful listening practices
  • Presentation of knowledge and facilitation of discussion
  • Study of the internal diversity of religion and the evolution of religion over time
  • Recognition of religious influences being embedded in all aspects of human experience
  • Acknowledgment of one’s situated perspective
  • Variety of methods for religious exploration: academic research, drama, journals, creative projects, films, and music