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Religious Study

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By Khashgerel
Words 510
Pages 3
Religious studies are a broad, multidisciplinary academic discipline to study the beliefs, and behaviors pertaining to different world religions. According to the author, unlike other major academic disciplines, the study of religion is not based on any unique methodology but is derived from several other fields of academia. This field of study is so broad that any attempt to develop a unique methodology would limit the scope of understanding and further research into the subject. Hence, religious studies derive inputs from several other fields of study and provide its scholars with a plethora of these derived methodologies.
The absence of any unique methodology is dealt by incorporating several other academic fields and developing different approaches for interpretation and research. Scholars, who look at religion from the perspective of society, use one such approach. They look at both sides of the coin and study how society shapes religion and how religion has been shaped by the various societal factors. They also try to analyze the changing symbiosis of religion and society by adopting either a quantitative approach of statistical surveys or a qualitative approach. Another such methodology involves anthropological study of religion. The rituals, practices and behaviors of tribal groups provide a deep insight into the oldest form of religious habits, which have been carried for ages. This approach studies the traditions that have been carried by all these traditions from ages by both mainstream and other word religions.
Religions in its varied forms have existed from the beginning of recorded history and hence historians have their approach in studying the subject. The historians of religion study the development, transformation of even the decline of religions from a historian’s perspective. The rise and fall of the different cultures in the eons of time leaves its footprint on the evolution of religion, these scholars study the different forces within the framework of history that shapes religion and vice-versa.
The philosophers of religion study the languages and the ideas that shape a certain religion. Every religion has its own interpretation of truth, morality and answers the eternal questions about existence in their own, unique way. The philosophers of religion try to interpret these rational truth claims but focusing on the nature of religious languages.

The various methodologies explained till now restrict themselves within the realms of academia; universities, colleges in general. But another methodology of studying religions exists beyond the walls of universities. Several major world religions have a scope of studying their own religious traditions within the framework of the religion. This theological approach is much different from the other approaches to study religion but it also derives its inspiration from the basic doctrines of that specific religion.
Though religious studies do not have any specific methods but a range of different approaches, it can be defined within the framework of an independent discipline since the objectives and intentions of study are clearly defined. There exist clear outcomes of the different methodologies that can be justified from a religious studies perspective and hence can be studied as an independent discipline.

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