Religious studies is, as indicated on the tin, a complex set of academic disciplines focused on the study of religion.At its core, religious studies analyze beliefs, pratices, symbols, superstitions, mythsand sacred texts, and compares all current and historical religions in the attempt to understand what the religious phenomenon is, why it exists, how it came to be and what (if anything) it provides humanity.
Religious studies is an academic subject that uses a multidisciplinary approach, combining the sciences and humanities. Branches of history, social sciences(anthropology, sociology, psychology), philosophy, psychoanalysis and, more recently, even economics, cognitive sciences and neurosciences, are combined in an attempt to understand “religion” as a social, human and cultural construction. Religious studies is the phenomenological studyof religion, meaning that it’s focused on the secular study of religion and the impact of religious belief on its adherents. Theology, on the other hand, takes an in-universe approach to the study of religion. As a result, theology frequently involves apologetics, while religious studies generally ignores the truth value of religious claims. Consequently, religious studies involves the application of epistemology:
Religious Studies is a discipline which examines the origin, evolution, diversity and characteristics of religion. There are many religions in the world which are very different from each other. The aim of religious studies is to find similarities and dissimilarities among these various religions. One has to be careful to control his/her attitude from becoming biased towards his/her own personal religion when being involved in a religious study. Most people have a religion and everyman who follows a religion thinks that his religion is the best religion in the world. But praises of any religion and condemning any religion is not the aim of religious studies. Religious study examines all religions equally with a moderate mind.
Classification of religions is also a very important issue in the scope of religious studies. Some classifications are given below:
- Pre-historical religions and historical religions.
- Primitive (tribal) religions and world religions.
- Theistic religions and atheistic religions.
- Monotheistic, polytheistic and henotheistic religions.
- Ancient religions and modern religions.
It’s important to get relevant work experience to boost your employability prospects. This experience shows employers that you’re committed and also helps you decide on whether a particular career is right for you Talk to professionals in the field you’re interested in and consider work placements, paid evening and weekend work, voluntary work or work shadowing.
For example, if you want to get into teaching, you will need to have a minimum of two weeks’ experience working in a school with children of the age you want to teach. This will show you have the skills and motivation to teach.
If you’re thinking about work in religious ministry, talk to local spiritual leaders and get involved in the life of your religious community to find out more about what’s involved.
- Jobs directly related to your degree include Higher education lecturer, Primary school teacher, Secondary School teacher
- Jobs where your degree would be useful include Advice worker, Archivist, Charity fundraiser, counsellor, Civil Service administrator, Community development worker, Editorial assistant, Newspaper Journalist, Police Officer, Youth worker