what we hold dear

Learn what cultures throughout several eras value by minoring in The Sacred in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Topics include religious artifacts and sites, behaviors, relationships, roles and institutions associated with the sacred and secularization in modern cultures. You’ll get to view how on the one hand, the sacred is necessarily constituted socially and culturally and on the other, the meanings of any particular expressions of the sacred are not necessarily exhausted by socio-cultural analysis.

Experiential EducationInvolved Learning

Attend traditional Jewish ceremonies at the Abbe Center for Jewish Life or discuss religious icons across the world at the Intercultural Affairs Center.

At Hobart and William Smith Colleges, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.




No Borders:Global Education

Study the influence of Christians, Muslims and Jews in Spain or religious practices in Hong Kong.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.

Hong Kong

Choose from a variety of religious studies, anthropology and sociology courses to guide your path through the minor.

Rel 219 - introduction to islamic religious traditions

Study of the rise of Islam from seventh-century Arabia to the current global context.

anth 102 - world prehistory

Discover the reality of what happened in "prehistory."

soc 370 - religion, politics & lifestyle 

Examine variation in the social significance of religion by looking at how alternative movements as well as dominant beliefs and practices in modern Western societies have remained influential, faded to marginality or reemerged in political and social life.

Alum ImpactThe Stories of Our Neighbors

carly kelly '21

Throughout her time at HWS, Carly focused her studies in anthropology on the Middle East. Carly's Honors project studied the identity of Syrian Christians in Geneva, learning from their stories, histories and traditions.