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Religious Studies

Devoted to research into religious beliefs, behaviours, and institutions.

Religious studies, also known as the study of religion, is an academic field devoted to research into religious beliefs, behaviours, and institutions. It describes, compares, interprets, and explains religion, emphasizing systematic, historically based, and cross-cultural perspectives.

Religious Studies investigates the most basic components of human society and culture. The key to understanding the fundamental motivations for the behaviour of human groups lies in the knowledge of religious beliefs and practices.

Career Options in Religious Studies

  • Activist.
  • Administrative Coordinator.
  • Author.
  • Charity Coordinator.
  • Child & Youth Worker.
  • Clergyperson.
  • Community Centre Director.
  • Community Developer

Theology is the study of religion. It examines the human experience of faith, and how different people and cultures express it. Theologians examine the many different religions of the world and their impact on society.

Religious Studies alumni can be found in a wide variety of fields, including business, education, government, law, medicine, and social services. The Religious Studies major enhances any career path through developing intercultural competence and higher-level thinking skills.

Types of religious studies

  • Anthropology of religion.
  • Cultural anthropology of religion.
  • Economics of religion.
  • Geography of religion.
  • History of religion.
  • Literary approaches.
  • Neurological approaches.
  • Origin of religion.

Whereas religious studies programs explore major world religions, such as Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism, theology maintains a more singular focus on the study of God.

Major religious groups

  • Christianity (31.2%)
  • Islam (24.1%)
  • Irreligion (16%)
  • Hinduism (15.1%)
  • Buddhism (6.9%)
  • Folk religions (5.7%)
  • Sikhism (0.3%)
  • Judaism (0.2%)

It is impossible to study religion without recognizing the enormous power of cultural difference, both the difference of the past from the present and also the range of cultural differences to be found in the contemporary world.

This of course depends on your interests and goals, but studying theology is a good choice for people with a surprisingly wide range of interests. Even students interested in careers outside of religion can benefit immensely from a theological education.

The four types include biblical theology, historical theology, systematic (or dogmatic) theology, and practical theology.

Majoring in Religion offers broad access to many career options. Many students continue their education by attending graduate school in medicine, history, religion, literature, philosophy or seminary. Most enter careers such as teaching, medicine, law, business, politics, publishing, writing, and social service.