Why Study Religion?
Since religion is so much a part of human life at every level, studying religion is a way of getting broad perspective on many aspects of human society and culture. Religion may be studied in various ways by:
- Emphasizing its sacred literature
- Tracing the different traditions it has shaped around the globe
- Seeing the way such concerns as art, ethics, and the quest for meaning in society and in history have been enriched by it through philosophy and theology
- Exploring the relationship to and influence upon social systems
- Examining it as patterns of thought
The study of religion has always incorporated various ways of understanding human experience, drawn from the humanities, the sciences, and the social sciences, in clarifying the data that help us understand important human concerns. The study of religion is therefore interdisciplinary in its fundamental attitude.
At the same time, it has a distinctive role among the disciplines and departments of the University, giving scholarly attention to tracing the human response to the transcendent dimension of experience. In this way the beliefs, the ethics, the rituals and forms of community, and the sense of meaning that life has for individuals and for groups, come into view in the various human cultures.
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