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Post Info TOPIC: Religious Studies vs. Theology - What's the difference?


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Religious Studies vs. Theology - What's the difference?
 


I have family members who are studying Theology [Bachelor of Theology, Diploma of Theology etc..], and I believe Theology is an awesome subject to study. I may even myself, undertake a Post-Graduate Diploma in Theology after I finish another Degree that I will be pursuing next year 'Bachelor of Indigenous Studies'.

So don't take this thread in such a light as to pertain that I am some how stating that Theology is academically beneath Religious Studies, this thread will only show the differences in the approach between each study subject. This I hope, will encourage people who read this to study either subject which appeals to them the most, and better yet, it is my hope that people would study both fields.

- What are the differences?

"Western philosophy of religion, as the basic ancestor of modern religious studies, is differentiated from theology and the many Eastern philosophical traditions by generally being written from a third party perspective. The scholar need not be a believer. Theology stands in contrast to the philosophy of religion and religious studies in that, generally, the scholar is first and foremost a believer employing both logic and scripture as evidence."

"Writing for religious studies takes place within a secular, academic environment, rather than a faith-oriented community. For this reason, the goal of any paper in religious studies should not be to demonstrate or refute provocative religious concepts, such as the existence of God, the idea of reincarnation, or the possibility of burning in hell. By nature, such issues are supernatural and/or metaphysical and thus not open to rational inquiry.

A more appropriate approach in religious studies involves contextualizing such questions. You might examine a particular Buddhist's conception of reincarnation, Nietzsche's questioning of the existence of God, or a piece of medieval Catholic artwork that depicts eternal damnation. In other words, your reader will likely be more interested in what a particular historical figure, community, or text reveals about such issues than what you actually believe.

This distinction is especially important to keep in mind when analyzing evidence and making an argument. Take care not to allow personal beliefs to predetermine your conclusions. Always do your best to begin with a fresh evaluation of the evidence. While a certain bias is always brought to any investigation, awareness is nevertheless critical. A common risk is the tendency to evaluate material in light of your religious convictions.

While problematic for a variety of reasons, this particular mode of analysis is simply inappropriate in any scholarly, argumentative paper. It is also ineffective, as you cannot anticipate that your reader will share your assumptions.

If personal opinions, rather than reasoned evidence, serve as the premise of an argument, then the conclusions will be flawed and easily refuted. Thus, neither faith nor received tradition (such as the lessons or stories you may have been taught in church) constitutes a valid basis for an argument in academic writing.

Do your best then to set aside personal convictions as you research, analyze, and compose. Ideally, your final product will present a reasoned argument that gives no indication of your religious beliefs."

Hope this helps,

Cheers.

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Good Luck Sayan....

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"My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it". Mark Twain


Guru

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The symbol of 'Religious Studies':





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Guru

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SamoanSaiyan wrote:

The symbol of 'Religious Studies':








You forgot the pentagram. LOL

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Samoa mo Samoa
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