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Jonathan Schmidt-Swartz

Religious Studies Class of 2015

Educational Background

B.A. Comparative Literature & Religious Studies; Summa Cum Laude and Distinction in all subjects

Ph.D. Student at New York University, Bible and the Ancient Near East


Religious Studies brought together all of my various interests into a single major. I had the opportunity to explore and problematize the category of "religion" through various disciplinary lenses: anthropological, literary, sociological, psychological and historical. The interdisciplinary nature of the Religious Studies Program exposed me to new ways of thinking, taught me to be an effective communicator, and transformed me into a life-long learner. Through the Religious Studies Program at Cornell, I gained a sense of the philosophical and moral complexity of life, and came to appreciate that the dichotomies and categories that we create for ourselves are constructs to aid in objectification.