Thought for the week- the many reasons for studying religion

One of the subjects that people can study at university is religion.

Some people think that students only do that if they are going to have a career in it, such as becoming a priest, minister or a religious studies teacher. But there are some people who study religion because they find it a fascinating subject in itself. There are a number of organised religions in the world and within most of them, there can be differences over certain things. At the same time, most religions generally have a number of things in common - such as believing in a Deity who created the world; having a moral code for their believers to follow; and providing answers to some of the ‘big questions of life’ - such as is there a life after death?

While there are some people who follow the religious beliefs of their parents, there are others who chose a different faith or indeed choose to subscribe to no faith at all. There are also some folk whose parents may have no faith – but who decide to follow one themselves. There are some people who say that they have a faith but devote little time to it.

There are others for whom their faith is at the centre of their lives. Someone studying a religion does not necessarily lead to them adopting that faith. And someone who has an active faith can sometimes choose to study other religions as well.

They do that because they want to understand people better and in order to do that effectively it is important to learn what they believe about the world and its inhabitants. Also by learning about and from other people, we also end up learning and understanding ourselves better as well.