What is Religious Studies?
Very few things have the impact on human culture that religion does. Our values, our understanding of ourselves as individuals, our understanding of society, our view of nature, even our definition of truth, stem from concepts originally fostered in a religious environment.
Religious Studies is the exploration of the expression of religion in human culture. It explores human ideas about the divine, as well as the way religious concepts are expressed in texts, rituals, and belief systems. It studies the history of religion as well as important religious figures. It analyses the influence of religion on other aspects of culture, as well as the influence of culture on religion. As an academic discipline Religious Studies is not limited to a single tradition or religion; it encompasses all religions from all cultures and all times: it is global in scope and multicultural in tenor.
The Department of Religious Studies at MUN explores these questions in a non-confessional setting. This means that the "truth-value" of any religious outlook is not at issue. We do not ask whether a religion is right or wrong. Rather, we ask how and why a religion is meaningful to the people who practice it.