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CryingTears15
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05 May 2016, 2:23 pm

Hi! I love, love, love religious discussion and I'm picking up steam with it. If I had a career in religion, what could I double-major in that my religion degree would be relevant to and help me do something intellectually challenging?

I don't know if I want to be a professor.

It could also just be something with a religion degree, just a way to incorporate religion into college and life.

Thanks!



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05 May 2016, 2:44 pm

History, Philosophy or Political Science would probably be the most obvious disciplines to choose for a double-major, as there is significant overlap when it comes to the subject matter...

However, unless you are planning to join the clergy, religious studies don't really offer good career trajectories, and it may be hard to find stable employment outside of teaching environments...

In fact, a poll made by the Wall Street Journal lists religion as the second-worst undergraduate major when it comes to mid-career median salary:

Source: http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/ ... -sort.html


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CryingTears15
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05 May 2016, 2:51 pm

I don't know how I will be able to concentrate on my work if it does not have some aspect of religion in it.

So if I double-majored, would that make a difference?



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05 May 2016, 2:53 pm

As far as studying, I think the first decision to make (maybe) is whether you are interested in academic analysis and critique or practicing. For me, anyway, that would determine whether I majored in religious studies vs. going to seminary. As for jobs.....other than professor....and professor itself not having a huge turnover rate.....not sure! Maybe some type of religious counseling? I've always been fascinated with religion, but I ended up reading/studying on my own and finding something with more job openings to study in school. If you're more spiritual than religious, then Jungian psychology could be interesting.

I too need religion to be a part of everything in order to focus....for me, I just privately have my own beliefs shaping what I choose to do and how I do it. So my religion isn't a direct or obvious factor to others, but it is privately to me.



CryingTears15
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05 May 2016, 3:03 pm

So, I have a personal interest in Sikhism and an intellectual interest in essentially every religion, though due to my culture I'm a bit wary of Christianity.

I like learning about how followers apply religion to their lives, about interfaith interactions, gender, Hell, and conversion.



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05 May 2016, 3:31 pm

CryingTears15 wrote:
So, I have a personal interest in Sikhism and an intellectual interest in essentially every religion, though due to my culture I'm a bit wary of Christianity.

I like learning about how followers apply religion to their lives, about interfaith interactions, gender, Hell, and conversion.

Well, most people know very little about Sikhism... this case comes to mind:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of ... ingh_Sodhi

... so there may be need for more people with a more thorough understanding on Sikhism...

Sikhism is - on the other hand - a small faith, so there isn't really much of demand on the labour market for individuals with specific knowledge about this religion...

If you want to focus on religion - and also improve your career options - it may be prudent to have a somewhat broader scope... like focusing in the Dharmic religions (Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism) in general...

Sikhism is, BTW, the only major religion which has complete gender equality as a fundamental tenet of its faith... In Sikhism, God doesn't even have a gender (Guru Granth Sahib: 1020)


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CryingTears15
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05 May 2016, 5:07 pm

Yes, and I'm also interested in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

I learn about the interactions a religion has with everyone else, conversions, interfaith relationships and families, and punishments for nonbelievers.



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05 May 2016, 5:26 pm

The world is getting smaller.

Business, and government, are going to need experts in foreign cultures who know the difference between a Sikh, a Muslim, a Jain, and Hindu.

So combining a minor in religion with history, or journalism, or economics, might make for a powerful combination.



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05 May 2016, 10:09 pm

Really depends what you're interested in.

I could see where one could double-major with forensic psychology and work with law enforcement on cases of strange motivation - anywhere from fundamentalism gone more wrong than usual to some of the more warped cults out there and what they're doing with human psychology. Come to think of it a degree in psychology could go hand in hand with that, particularly if you wanted to get into the business of writing about religious activity in the brain framed from the viewpoint of psychology. Another idea might be double-majoring in political science, partly because the ways religious blocks vote has a big influence on the outcome of elections.

Unfortunately when it comes to the sexier stuff like the Lost Keys of Freemasonry, Golden Dawn history, or studying Tantric Hinduism in detail, it really won't get you far unless your plan is to be an expert practitioner yourself and either shedding new light on an old system (which lots of people have been doing in high quality these days) or starting a new one yourself.


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CryingTears15
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07 May 2016, 6:49 pm

Maybe I can lend knowledge of religion to something business-related. Human resources management? Management science? Management consultant?

However, an Aspie in business? Sounds difficult. I would have to be able to communicate effectively often in social situations.



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08 May 2016, 7:41 am

CryingTears15 wrote:
I don't know how I will be able to concentrate on my work if it does not have some aspect of religion in it.

So if I double-majored, would that make a difference?


What if you simply majored in 'Comparitive Religions' You could focus on how, in a multifaith, multicultural society we can all find a way to allow religioud freedom and still live together in peace. It is something which is intellectually very challenging and difficult because it would involve understanding all the major world religions very well and then solving a tremendously difficult question. It's also a question which we very badly need to answer. We need some kind of framework for those who have all kinds of religious beliefs (and those who whose beliefs are non-religious too) to work together without war and fighting. But if, for each person, their beliefs are really central to their way of life, how do you find a framework which is acceptable to all?

Also, you could go on to think about how we manage political structures and governance to enable freedom of religion without one person's beliefs damaging or harming another person.

Just an idea!
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08 May 2016, 7:59 am

You asked about careers, not degrees.

So if you majored in anything what career prospects are you expecting? What do you think you will end up doing?

Is religion really a career? Well if you you have a super church and wish to make a mint from your clergy then yes it would make more sense for you to get a business degree than a religious.

Otherwise you are on a path to a vocation not a career.

You might be one of those who obtain shelter and enough money to life some lay position. However that doesn't mean religion is really a career.

I had an idea though. Historical Tourism. People are super interested in seeing the religious sites in India. I have toured a lot of them myself. The history was super interesting. I saw sites related to Buddhism, Jain, Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism. As well some defunct religion that one of the mogul leaders founded
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Din-i_Ilahi