The Senior Tutorial (or Senior Seminar) is year-long, graded SAT/UNS, and it culminates in the completion and submission of the senior honors thesis. By April of the junior year, students should discuss their intention to pursue a thesis with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies, and relevant faculty members. If the student elects to write a thesis at this point, he or she should be able to articulate a general topic and have some idea who might serve as effective advisers for the project. Students are expected to speak with possible thesis advisers near the end of their junior year and, if possible, line up thesis advisers for the senior year. Students need to have both a graduate student and a faculty adviser. The Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies often help in this process.

During the senior year students are expected to meet with their graduate student advisers about once a week to discuss work in progress. They meet with faculty advisers less often, usually once a month. In order to receive SAT in Religion 99 for the fall term, students must submit two draft chapters of their senior thesis. Submission and acceptance of the senior thesis fulfills the SAT requirement for Religion 99 for the spring term.

In addition to meeting with thesis advisers, which is a required part of Religion 99, senior thesis writers meet bi-weekly as a group to discuss and develop research and writing skills. This seminar is organized and run by the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Concentrators are encouraged to use these writing resources:

Past Senior Theses

The Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies has hard copies of many past theses that are available for students to borrow. Looking through old theses may stimulate ideas for a topic or give you ideas about how to organize or write your own thesis.

  • "The 'Tug-of-War' over British Muslim Identity: A Comparative Analysis of British Muslim Engagement Programs today" (2016)
  • "Making Boston Warm: A Case Study of the Intersection of Social Movements and the Social Gospel in the Modern City" (2016)
  • "Militant Christianity and Universal Politics: Alain Badiou as Political Theologian" (2016)
  • "How to Read Body Language: Constructions of Power, Women, and 'The Gaze' in Early Christianity" (2016)
  • "A Time for Tulpas: Technology, Language, and the Study of Religion" (2016)
  • "Tevye's Children: Jewish Continuity in Changing Times" (2016)
  • "对耶稣丢面子 Losing Face for Jesus: An Ethnography of Young Adults in the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church" (2016)
  • “Living the Mission: The Catholic Church and Human Rights in Peru.”
  • “‘Maybe I Did Not Live As I Should”: An Analysis of Tolstoy’s Christian Ethic in His Post-Conversion Literature.”
  • “Constructing Conflict: Israeli and Palestinian Conceptions of the Role of Religion in the Disagreement over the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif.”
  • “Making Kafka Happy: An Experiment in Recapturing the Joy in God’s Death and Modernity.”
  • “Flexible Conservatism: Authority and Ambiguity in the Thought of Vivekananda and Schechter” (2012): Adviser: Parimal Patil
  • “Child Witches and Witch Hunts: New Images of the Occult in the Democratic Republic of Congo” (2011); Adviser: Timothy Nelson
  • “Advisers to the Almighty: The Modern Church Consulting Industry in the United States” (2010); Adviser: Marie Griffith
  • “The Ebb and Flow of Peace: Hindu-Muslim Relations in Hyderabad” (2009); Adviser: Diana Eck
  • “First Timothy and the Question of Women’s Leadership in the Church: An Analysis of Evangelical Biblical Hermeneutics” (2009); Adviser: Laura Nasrallah