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 a 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 an opportunity for students to explore lived religious experience from a wide diversity of religious traditions with an emphasis on student-centered discussions. Many courses also examine secular and non-religious worldviews. The curriculum fosters critical examination of ourselves in the world, diversity in the Westtown School community, and the role of religion in history and contemporary culture.
Students will have the following core experiences in the Religion Department:
- Reflection, mindfulness, and respectful listening practices
- Interpretation of religious literature and experience
- Presentation of knowledge and facilitation of discussion
- Examination of the role of religion in current events
- Field trips to a local church, synagogue, mosque and/or Hindu temple
- Variety of responses to religious exploration: academic research, reflective journal writing, and arts-based projects