School of Divinity

Why study Theology and Religious Studies

Ideas, texts, beliefs and actions: these are at the heart of theology and religious studies. Studying them gives you insight into humanity's history and its present, and develops key skills such as critical thinking and analytical writing.

If you are fascinated by big ideas, by the way people's beliefs influence the way they live, or by sacred texts and their interpretation, then Theology and Religious Studies are the subjects for you. Both focus on an aspect of human experience which has been fundamental to humanity's understanding of itself, in all its variety- and continues to be important today. In order to understand the world as it is, literacy in religious thinking and practice is a key skill, with the potential to foster respect and tolerance based on knowledge rather than supposition. Whether you come to the subjects with a particular faith perspective or not, there will be much that will engage you intellectually and challenge your assumptions.

Theology offers the opportunity to focus on the Christian faith in detail, through the study of the Bible, the history of the Church, its key thinkers and its influence on ethical debates and the actions of its believers. Religious Studies offers breadth and depth, in its study of the religions of the world from a variety of perspectives, including the interpretation of religious texts, the sociology and psychology of religion and the impact of religious movements ancient and modern.

In addition to the intrinsic value of the subjects themselves, the exploration of religions and religious ideas will give you the skills to analyse writing, concepts and arguments in a wide range of contexts. The disciplines demand rigorous thinking and the ability to interpret data concisely. You will learn to debate with others about key concepts and to evaluate their relevance and validity. Respect for the beliefs of others and the skill to enter into dialogue with those who hold opposing views are developed in the academic environment of the School of Divinity. The skills honed by the study of Theology and Religious Studies are needed more than ever in our complex world.