作为一个在圣经地带中心长大的年轻女性, 我以为我知道“研究”宗教是什么意思. 在我脑海里, it meant you opened up your sacred text (in my case the Bible) and talked with a group of like-minded people (in my case fellow 16-year-old girls) about what it meant. 快进5年, 我是一名即将升入365体育滚球学院宗教研究专业的大四学生. 研究宗教不再等同于研究圣经, 而是一种培养我批判性思维能力和真正学习的方式.
学习宗教没有“一成不变”的方式，这让它变得有趣和多样化. 它不需要重复公式和定义, 但它确实需要深入的理解. It also inspires real life skills that can be tough to teach in a classroom with other types of studies. 你必须设身处地地为他人着想，理解与自己不同的人, 同时也要意识到自己的观点. Having to widen your understanding of the world and discuss issues and topics that can be hard to understand creates well-rounded and cultured young scholars.
Studying religion—and the subjective boundaries that religious practices have 历史ly placed around the “sacred” and “profane”—can help us understand modern manifestations of those boundaries. 宗教是文化的一部分, 所以研究它是跨学科的, 结合文本, 历史, 语言, 哲学和许多其他的方法在这个过程中.
也许这有点偏颇, 但我相信，归根到底，宗教是一个迷人的研究领域! 长久以来，人们依赖宗教，宗教也随着时代的发展而不断发展. The academic study of religion is an ideal way to explore religious ideas from a variety of perspectives. 宗教是人们探索人类生存状况的主要手段之一. 研究宗教意味着有机会了解别人如何理解存在和我们的目的.
[Quotations used with permission from the final projects submitted in Professor Sarah Rollens’ class RELS 256: Methods and Theories in 宗教研究 (Spring 2020)]
而宗教研究作为一项学术事业，其根源可以追溯到几个世纪以前, 它的现代形态和制度体现是20世纪的现象. This field of study has emerged with the recognition that religion is a cultural phenomenon that is marked by both diversity and transformation. The pervasiveness and power of religions throughout human history and their continuing role in shaping individuals and societies make their study within an academic context essential.
宗教研究的一个主要目的是澄清概念和界定范畴. 对一个基本文化范畴的严格追问是批判教育的核心行为. 另一方面, 人类不是通过一般的分类来生活的, 但是通过混凝土, 特定时间和地点的历史传统. 传统研究:对特定传统的研究, 领导人, 学说, 仪式和文物吸引学生进入复杂的, 持久而引人注目的意义体系影响了数百万人的生活.
研究宗教就是研究人们的反应, 包括行为和智力, 人类所面临的巨大的谜题和问题, 包括死亡, 痛苦, 悲剧和自我的本质, 社会与宇宙. 宗教研究 incorporates cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches and utilizes 历史, 民族志, theological/philosophical and sociological tools to interpret and explain the multifaceted complexes that are religions.
宗教是西方理解的一个基本要素. 在美国, 特别是, religion is a foundational taxonomic concept that American culture uses to sort out and organize the complexity of human experience. The First Amendment guarantees that the United States may have more than one religion and affirms that religion is a legitimate legally protected form of difference in American society. 因此, 我们国家的能力不仅仅是忍耐, but to affirm difference - to value difference as a social benefit and a cultural good - is grounded in our constitutional commitment to religious freedom.
在过去十年中, we have become increasingly aware of how religion intersects with ethnicity and nationalism to shape the identities of individuals and societies around the world. 这绝不是一个简单的私人现象, religion is integrally involved in configuring the world-view and ethos of major civilizations of our day. It plays a central role in determining the shape and tenor of political and cultural conflicts within and between nations. 要理解, 世界各地人民和社会的多样性, 以及他们内部和之间的冲突, it is essential that Americans come to recognize and to understand the diverse religious roots of individual and communal identity.
These factors help to establish the place and mission of the study of religion in American higher education. 教育是我们社会社会化和文化适应的主要模式. It is where our students acquire not only information and skills but also a basic sense of American culture and its endemic pluralistic structure and values. 高等教育必须做的事情之一, 然后, is to give students the skills to appreciate the plausibility and appeal of lives they do no and may never lead. 这不仅仅是提供信息的问题. 而是赋予他们理解未知生活方式的能力, 外星人, 甚至威胁他们. 因为宗教是多元主义的核心, 宗教研究必须在美国高等教育中发挥核心作用. 通过它的研究, 学生习得态度, skills and knowledge they will need to negotiate the increasingly pluralistic world of the 21st century.
The Department of 宗教研究 offers an undergraduate curriculum designed to enhance awareness of diverse religious traditions among college graduates in a modern, 多元化的社会. 随着全球, 在宗教信仰方面，国家和地方的关切日益突出, 价值观和世界观, understanding one′s own religious background and those of others has become an important factor in educating a person for the 21st century.
Course work in 宗教研究 is designed to help students enhance their skills in analytical thought and effective communication. Such training can lay the foundation for successful graduate studies or augment professional careers in fields like communications, 新闻, 国际关系, 业务, 司法研究或公共管理.
学生 with background degrees in 宗教研究 have been admitted to graduate programs in the study of religion at first-rate institutions of higher learning. 其他人则成功地在医学和法律等领域进行了深造.
The Department of 宗教研究 offers an extensive range of courses that introduce undergraduates to a variety of religious traditions, 文本, 仪式, 符号和文化. 在咨询了指导老师之后, students design a course of study that combines a core curriculum with individual interests in order to understand better the ways in which religious values, ethics and beliefs influence human thought and action in societies around the world and throughout history.
The Department of 宗教研究 provides a supportive learning environment that invites undergraduates to interact socially and intellectually with a community of peers and faculty. Undergraduates are encouraged to attend departmental colloquia and become acquainted with leading scholars visiting the campus.
A major in 宗教研究 is an appropriate choice for students wishing to focus on specific religious traditions. 其他人将他们对宗教的兴趣与以区域为中心或多学科研究结合起来. 学生还可以探索宗教在艺术等主题中的作用, 政治或性别.