Dan Hirshberg, Program Director, Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion
Contemplative Studies Program
The Contemplative Studies minor is broadly interdisciplinary, incorporating the humanities, arts, and sciences to explore the theory, practice, history, and scientific study of diverse contemplative traditions. In addition to the critical and intellectual study of these topics, students train in the daily application of secular contemplative techniques. Self-reflection on personal experience is a key component, and both creative expression and individual research are encouraged and supported.
The minor offers students a foundation in four primary areas: 1) the theory of contemplation across traditions and history; 2) the application of contemplation in various human endeavors, including philosophy, religion, art, and performance; 3) the scientific study of meditation, its cutting-edge technologies, and the quantifiable psychological data gathered to document its effects on the brain and well-being; and 4) significant practical training and experience in secular meditative techniques towards the development of concentration, empathy, stress-reduction, etc.
Requirements for the Contemplative Studies Minor
Eighteen (18) credits to include CPRD 104, 304, and PSYC 100; and three (3) courses from the following, with at least six (6) credits at the 300/400-level: ARTH 350, 352, 354, 470; BIOL 410; CLAS 202; GEOG 335; PHIL 201; PSYC 305, 351, 372, 373, 374; RELG 283, 284, 340; any 491 (with approved topic). Special topics courses in related fields (ANTH 271, 371; ARTH 470; CPRD 299; PHIL 231, 331; RELG 231, 331) as well as other courses with relevant content may be substituted, including towards the 300/400-level requirements, with approval of the program director.
Course Descriptions for Disciplines in the Minor: