The Religion Department plays a central role in the Swarthmore academic program. One attraction of the study of religion is the cross-cultural nature of its subject matter. The discipline addresses the complex interplay of culture, history, text, orality, performance, and personal experience. Breadth in subject matter is complemented by strong methodological diversity; questions raised include those of historical, theological, philosophical, literary, feminist, sociological, and anthropological interests. Religion is expressed in numerous ways: ritual and symbol, myth and legend, story and poetry, scripture and theology, festival and ceremony, art and music, moral codes and social values. The Department seeks to develop ways of understanding these phenomena in terms of their historical and cultural particularity and in reference to their common patterns.