The Pew Research Center published its U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey in September 2010, and the findings suggest a strong correlation between knowledge about religion and general academic achievement. Put simply, those who know about religion, know more.
As a diverse field, both in terms of subject matter (such as specific religions or themes within comparative religion) and in terms of method (such as making use of psychology, philosophy, literary criticism, and more), studying religions is fundamentally an initiation into ways of responding to diversity. With courses in Buddhism, Christian scriptures, comparative religious ethics and more, the study of religion provides students with the opportunity to explore diverse expressions of humankind’s understanding of the meaning and purpose of life in relationship to the sacred. Understanding the histories, beliefs, practices and scriptures of different religions equips students to better understand themselves and those around them.
There is growing recognition of the crucial role religion and interfaith understanding will play in maintaining a just and peaceful world, and people who possess such understanding can make an important contribution to that world. As a graduate with skills and knowledge in Religious Studies, students will be an asset to any employer. Employers are seeking good interpreters of information, and these are individuals with knowledge of diverse cultures and beliefs.
Religious Studies students are encouraged to take part in Ethics Across the Curriculum (EAC), a national program aimed at promoting discussions of morals and ethics in every division of the college. Religious Studies also provides opportunity for personal growth within one’s own faith tradition and spiritual development. A basic tenant of the comparative study of religion is that through comparison, we can come to understand better our own spirituality.
Click here to read more about the mission and objectives of the Religious Studies program at Young Harris College.
If you are interested in finding out more about Religious Studies at Young Harris College, including upcoming schedules, please contact the department chair, Dr. Jamie Watson by email or at (706) 379-5261. Students are also encouraged to contact any member of the Religion and Philosophy department faculty.
For further information about the academic study of Religion, see the website for the international organization promoting the study of religion, the American Academy of Religion.