The academic study of religion at Linfield College embodies the core values of a comprehensive, liberal arts education. It does not espouse any particular religious perspective, but rather seeks to understand religion in its manifold dimensions. Since Religious Studies touches upon many different aspects of human existence, the department necessarily combines many different methods of analysis, drawn from numerous academic disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including history, language, art, literature, philosophy, anthropology, psychology, and cultural studies. What sets Religious Studies apart is a sustained focus on religion as a historical and cultural phenomenon, or complex of phenomena, worthy of specific analysis. Religious Studies courses serve as a platform for students to think carefully and critically about religion, and then go beyond the classroom to test what they have learned through firsthand experiences of cultural and religious diversity, both locally and around the world. In this way, students can learn to reflect in both critical and constructive ways upon their own ideas, beliefs, and practices in a rigorous, supportive, and respectful environment.