Foreign Study Program

The Religion program offers an expanded curriculum in the study of religion through its arrangement with New College of the University of Edinburgh. Also available is the opportunity to study with international eminent scholars who teach in this major Scottish university.


About the Program

The program of study in Edinburgh consists of three courses: two courses chosen by each student from among those offered by the New College faculty. These courses are given the Dartmouth designations REL 70 and 71.  REL 74 is taught by the accompanying Dartmouth faculty member. All three courses are graded and then also recorded by the Registrar at Dartmouth College. REL 70, 71, and 74 count as intermediate courses when fulfilling the requirements for the religion major.

Pre-Requisite: At least one course in Religion, and applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0.

Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

Program Dates: Annual, Fall Term, September - December

Accommodations: Students live in residence facilities at the University of Edinburgh.


  • Religion 70 - Foreign Study in Religion I, taught by University of Edinburgh, New College Faculty
  • Religion 71 - Foreign Study in Religion II, taught by University of Edinburgh, New College Faculty
  • Religion 74 - Special Topics in Religion—Intermediate Level, taught by Dartmouth College Faculty Director
Faculty Contact for Fall Term 2019: Kevin Reinhart


REL 74.07 Ritual in Post-Modern Great Britain

This is a course on ritual. It is designed to expose you to the major theories that seek to define, explain and interpret ritual and to apply those theories to actual rituals in situ. This means we will be reading and discussing intensively in seminar. We will also be taking advantage of the rich multicultural environment of this exciting city to attend various rituals—religious and otherwise. Your papers and presentations will be observations and analyses of two rituals from among the multitude of religious rituals available in Edinburgh and the United Kingdom. Distributive: TMV.

Edinburgh’s rich history and vast resources provide an incredible opportunity for the class to visit various sites, including:

  • Two sacred sites in Scottish history—the Island of Iona, where Christianity first came to Scotland, and the holy island of Lindisfarne.
  • Standing-stones where paleolithic "Scots" worshiped. 
  • Hindu and Buddhist Temples, a mosque, Pentecostal, Catholic, Wee Free, Episcopalian and many other Christian churches, and at least two kinds of synagogues, as well as court proceedings and other rituals.


Faculty Contact for Fall Term 2020: Christopher MacEvitt

REL 34 Christianity & Conversion in the Northern World: Vikings, Celts, & Anglo-Saxons
This course explores the transformation of Christianity in the early medieval period. The conversion of ‘barbarian’ peoples in northwest Europe between the years 400 and 1000 meant Christianity had to adapt to a different environment than the Roman and Mediterranean one in which the religion developed. The northern world was without the Roman Empire, without cities, with different languages, cultures and notions of relations between the human and divine worlds. This course explores the impact the conversion of Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, and Nordic communities had on Christianity, as well as why communities of the northern world voluntarily chose to adopt this new religion. Dist:TMV; WCult:W