What Is The Difference Between Theology And Religious Studies At Universities?


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Christopher Adam Profile
Some universities will have both religion and theology departments, both of which teach about the world's major religions. There are, however, important differences in their approach.

Theological studies are widely described as "faith seeking understanding." This means that students registered in the department (and certainly theologians and professors) are usually expected to have some degree of faith. Through their studies, they aim to reach a better understanding of their personal beliefs. This does not mean that all students and professors are regular church-goers, who always accept the teachings of the Church. Rather, they question and are known to push the envelope.

Additionally, theology often focuses on the Catholic Church and Protestant denominations. In contrast, religious studies will often look at all world religions and having some type of personal faith is not seen as a prerequisite. Religious studies look at faith and religion from an academic perspective, whereas theology departments will often combine an academic approach with a deeping of one's personal spirituality.

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