Understanding the concept of religion through the magnifying glass of Sociology, many social theorists described it in a varied range of terms. Emile Durkheim termed it as a “unified systems of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things” while Max Weber emphasised upon it as an impactful “force for social change”. You might find religion as a mysteriously yet fascinating concept to delve deeper in to comprehend how different cultures across the globe see the dynamics of religions as. This is what religious studies aim to explore. It is an intellectually exciting discipline that elaborates upon the study of religion, its impact on human beings as well as its role in society. This blog brings you a detailed guide on the top courses offered in Religious Studies, major universities as well as the career scope this field entails.
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What is Religious Studies?
Religious Studies encompasses the study of different religions around the world and involves extensive research into religious institutions, beliefs, behaviours, societal impact, amongst others. Students get to learn about the religious dimensions of religions of diverse cultures. Moreover, the course curriculum for this discipline is designed in a way that the study of religion is comparative, factual and fair-minded to help them provided with a historical and cross-cultural outlook. Religious studies keep a learner abreast of the historical context of the religion as well as its nature, advent and its relevance.
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.
Major Disciplines in religious studies
Major Courses Offered
As an emerging field of study, there is a wide range of short-term, undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Religious Studies that you can explore. The following sections elucidate upon some of the popular courses in this field:
|Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) Conjoint
-Theological and Religious Studies
|Bachelor of Arts –
Theology and Religion
|Bachelor of Advanced Humanities (Honours)
-Studies in Religion
– Religious Studies
|BA (Hons) Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (with placement)|
|BA (Hons) Philosophy, Religion and Ethics||BA African Studies
with the Study of Religions
|BA Arabic with the Study of Religions|
|Bachelor of Arts and
Bachelor of Laws-
Studies in Religion
|Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) – Studies in Religion||Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy – Philosophy and Religious Studies|
|MA in Islamic Studies||MA/Diploma Philosophy of Religion and Ethics||Master of Philosophy – Religious Studies|
|Master of Philosophy
– Studies In Religion
|MPhil in Religions and Philosophies||Master of Arts in Religion – Bible and Beyond|
|Master of Arts in Religion
– History of Religions in America
|Master of Arts in Religion – Global Christianity||Master of Divinity
– Religion and the Arts
|Master of Divinity – Religion and Economic Justice||Master of Arts in Islamic
Studies – American Studies
|Master of Arts
in International Studies (Comparative Religion)
|PhD in Religious Studies||PhD Theology and Religious Studies||Doctor of Philosophy – School of History Philosophy Religion and Classics|
|Doctor of Philosophy – Studies In Religion||Doctor of Philosophy in Religion – Critical Studies in Asian, Islamic, and Jewish Traditions||Doctor of Philosophy in Religion – Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel|
|Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies – Childhood, Gender, and Sexuality Studies||Doctor of Philosophy in Religion||Doctor of Philosophy (Theology and Religious Studies)|
|Doctor of Philosophy in the Study of Religion||Doctor of Philosophy in Islamic Civilizations Studies||PhD Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations|
Now that you are familiar with the popular courses in religious studies, here is a list of top universities offering the aforementioned programmes in Religious Studies.
- University of Hull
- The University of Edinburgh
- Queen’s University
- University of North Texas
- University of Pennsylvania
- Griffith University
- The University of Otago
- The University of Queensland
- University of Stirling
- University of Birmingham
- The University of Nottingham
- SOAS University of London
- Vanderbilt University
- Fordham University
- Claremont Graduate University
- Yale University
- University of Aberdeen
- University of Oxford
- University of Cambridge
- Durham University
- University of Chicago
- Stanford University
Careers in Religious Studies
As a highly theoretical field of study, Religious Studies encompasses diverse career opportunities in copious employment sectors. The inception of a plethora of courses in this field has lead to the emergence of numerous job prospects and some of the major careers have been given a rundown below.
Writing is amongst the most lucrative sectors to explore with a degree in Religious studies. Courses in this field impart students with critical thinking, analytical and research skills utilising which you can work as a writer with journals, magazines, publishing houses, academic publications, amongst others.
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Outreach workers are associated with Government and non-Government organisations in order to facilitate aid and assistance to communities across the globe. Having an extensive knowledge of global cultures and religious, you will be able to connect with different communities in a better way, voicing their issues, and working as a liaison between the organisation and the community they are serving.
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Another prominent job profile to explore after completing a course in Religious Studies, an Archivist gathers and manages historical documents and other related materials of cultural and historic importance for organisations, countries and individuals.
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Along with above-mentioned ones, here are some other career prospects in Religious Studies:
- Charity Officer
- Youth Worker
- Community Development Worker
- Social and Human Service Assistant
- What careers can you do with religious studies?
Religious studies give you a diverse set of opportunities and there is a lot of potential in this field if you wish to pursue a career in this area, there are many fields such as Religious Writer, Archivist, Teacher/Professor, and much more. To read in detail, refer to the career section above.
- How do you become a religious scholar?
A master’s degree is required and a Doctor of Philosophy is preferred in order to be a scholar of religious studies and teach in the academy.
- What are the five disciplines of religious studies?
5 disciplines of religious studies include Anthropology, History, Philosophy, Geography, and Economics. You can choose other disciplines as per your interest.
Studying Religious Studies, you will get to gain a holistic understanding of world religions and cultures as well as a critical perspective on how they originated and evolved. Unsure about how to choose a course to study this field? Sign up for an e-meeting with our Leverage Edu and we will help you explore the best course and university combinations and select a suitable one to embark upon your academic quest in the right way!