You have been assigned the task of explaining the benefits of majoring in “world religions.” There really are such majors, by the way, and often they are called “religious studies” or simply “religion.” At secular institutions of higher learning, students majoring or minoring in religion would typically start with a course like ours. At this point, you have seen a wide variety of human religious expression. Your basic task is to think about what you have recently learned or studied and extrapolate from it important knowledge and skills. In other words, think about how and why the study of religions can help a person develop in ways that will be “useful” in the world. Here is an example of the kinds of statements you might make: “The study of religion provides deep insights into the core beliefs and values of past and present civilizations.” That is a good point, but it might be a little too abstract to convince an employer to hire someone with a religious studies background. Can you think of taking this point and making it more obviously applicable to working conditions in today’s world? Moreover, consider realms other than straightforward cultural knowledge. For example, is the study of human religions likely to contribute to a person’s empathy? What about a person’s ability to acquire and process information? . . . and so forth. In a sense, your task is to be a propagandist, so be creative and imaginative. However, everything you say must seem convincing and be supportable based on what we have seen in this course so far. And, of course, the attention span of most site visitors is limited so:
- list your top 5 reasons for majoring in ‘religion’ or studying ‘world religions’ in bullet form; and
- explain why it is important enough to make your list.