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Religious Studies Major
today's world convulsed by religiously-inspired violence and the
politics of religious values, the USU Religious Studies Program
is already playing a critical role in providing a neutral place
from which to study religion and its role in society, thus creating
a cultural literacy about religion, and preparing students for careers
in fields that work with and for religious groups and organizations,
Religious Studies focuses on issues that involve values, ethics,
and morality, as well as their institutional expression in all cultures.
Religious Studies graduates are trained to grapple with the problems
of colliding belief systems, and are aware of ways in which conflict
and good intentions can serve the interests of powerful institutions.
In particular, Religious Studies teaches the critical evaluation
of competing claims and methods of resolving these.
about religion, not proselytizing for any religion, not denigrating
any religion, Religious Studies asks a set of critically significant
questions, some of which include:
do religious ideals create behavioral logic among believers?
do value systems affect political structures and choices?
does a new religion make its way into the world, bringing with
it new understandings of truth and a new understanding of reality?
happens as an innovative religious movement either turns into
or fails to develop into a new religious tradition?
What part of a tradition's
literature becomes sanctified as scripture, and by what process
does this happen?
How critical to the preservation
of a faith tradition are its founders, early leaders, and those
who first believe?
To what extend to new religions
flourish because of the particular time and place in which they
are introduced to the world?
How do traditions escape
the culture in which their formation occurred in order to become
When and how do economic,
social, or scientific changes alter religions, and how do traditional
religions shape and adapt to the alterations?
What to do with a Religious Studies Degree?
a rapidly globalizing and interconnected world, a degree in Religious
Studies is a stepping stone to potential ordination in many religious
groups, preparing students for careers as clergy. It is a road to
employment in charitable organizations that perform social and mission
work, whether or not affiliated with a particular religious group.
It is often used as an avenue into the world of human resources
work in business and other organizations. The religious education,
broadcasting, and publishing industries also employ religious studies
majors in many contexts. Many people who do degrees in religious
studies continue with their education. Some go to Law School, some
go on to a career in the health care professions, some to seminaries
for ordination, and some earn doctorates and continue working in
educational settings at all levels.