Why Religious Studies?
There are many reasons, both personal and professional, why one might want to take courses in the Religious Studies program. Here are four of the most often cited reasons.
- Cultural Appreciation: The term ‘religious studies’ refers to the scholarly neutral and non-advocative study of multiple religious traditions. Thus Religious Studies promotes the awareness and understanding of other cultures. In fact, it is difficult to see how any field of study that ignores religious issues can understand other cultures, for such an approach would ignore the deepest and most adamantly held beliefs of those cultures.
- Ethical Awareness: Since, for many, religious beliefs form the basis for ethical and moral convictions, any approach to ethics would, hopefully, incorporate the kind of examination of various religious convictions that Religious Studies makes possible.
- Interdisciplinary Studies: Since Religious Studies is an area rather than a single field, it utilizes the methodologies, procedures, and content of many different disciplines (such as Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, History, and Philosophy).
- Critical Thinking: Religious Studies helps students distinguish between arguments and convictions, and between statements of fact and statements of belief. Religious Studies also helps the student assess claims of truth, value, revelation, and morality.