The proposed course fills a gap in the existing curriculum by providing comprehensive theoretical and methodological training to majors in religious studies. To date, the curriculum in religious studies at USC has focussed on training in specific religious traditions, with less explicit emphasis on methods and theory. The present course brings our curriculum in line with other religious studies departments in the US, which have moved to provide theoretical overviews and methodological clarity for its majors. Such training is now considered mandatory for any graduate work in the discipline. While religious studies remains an interdisciplinary field, researchers in recent generations have necessarily become much more explicit in their methodological and theoretical orientations. In order to pursue research in Religious Studies, candidates for graduate education now need to specify how, and from what perspective, they wish to study religion. Thus without this course, our majors would lack the broad perspectives necessary for post-graduate study.