PhD: Rel Thght
PhD: Rel & Sc
RelTht Blue Book
Weird Wild Web
Prospectus for PhD in
Religious Thought in Boston University's Division of Religious and
(a.k.a. constantly updated, hyperlinked "Blue Book")
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Requirements of the Doctoral Degree Program in Theology
General Requirements for all DRTS PhD Students
2.1.1. DRTS Admissions Requirements
For general admission requirements to DRTS, see
2.1.2. DRTS Degree Requirements
Degree requirements for all DRTS PhD students are listed
2.2. Special Requirements of the PhD in Religious Thought
2.2.1. Track-Specific Admission Prerequisites
Students entering the
Religious Thought track should show transcript evidence of knowledge of the
religious thought of at least two distinct traditions. Students should also
demonstrate a strong background in one or more of the following areas:
philosophy, theology, or ethics. Further background in the humanities,
literary studies, fine arts, social sciences, or natural sciences is
strongly encouraged, and required where relevant to a student’s proposed
program of research.
Please note that this prerequisite is in addition to those outlined
in the Admissions section
of the DRTS website.
2.2.2. Track Specific Course Requirements
Students in the Religious
Thought track are required to take Philosophical and
2.2.3. Track Specific Language & Research Competence Requirements
Theological Approaches to Religion (RN 797). Students in the Religious
Thought track are required to take Core Texts and Motifs of World Religions
(RN 723-724) or suitable alternatives in order to demonstrate broad
Beyond two modern foreign languages, students in the Religious Thought track
who are working with primary written sources in foreign language(s) will
need to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary
in these language(s), at a level of expertise appropriate to the particular
area of specialization. Normally, this expertise will be evaluated directly
by Division faculty, during the stage of Qualifying Examinations.
2.2.4. Track Specific Basic Structure of Qualifying Examinations
Students will normally take four comprehensive examinations.
- The first examination will cover the field of religious thought,
broadly speaking, including major themes in philosophy of religion,
theology, and religious ethics.
- The second exam will treat core literature and methodological
debates within the particular disciplinary tradition(s) in which each
student is specializing.
- The third exam will treat the literature related to each student’s
research specialty, testing both competence in a specialized area of
research and the ability to articulate the relevance of that specialized
area to the broader horizons of religious thought and religious and
- For some students a fourth exam will test the student’s competence
in the primary source language(s) most relevant for the chosen area of
study. For other students the fourth exam may serve as supplement to the
second, as described above.
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