Is Theology and Religion an outdated, irrelevant subject? Hardly. Religion, faith and spirituality are here to stay, even in a supposedly secular society like the UK. For better or worse, perhaps both, religion is an important influence on all manner of groups and individuals.
Switch on a prime-time news programme and count how many times the words 'faith', 'culture' or 'religion' are mentioned. It's a hot topic. And it's not just a local issue; it's a global issue. A basic understanding of religion and religions is indispensable knowledge for anyone functioning within a contemporary, multicultural society (and religion in today's world is a major focus of our undergraduate programme at Birmingham). An awareness of cultural sensitivities is an essential tool for many professions and careers today: businessman or businesswoman, diplomat, educator, care assistant, social entrepreneur, law enforcement officer and healthcare worker among them.
Theology and Religion is an important academic discipline because you can't understand human society without taking account of the religious and spiritual aspects of life, and to deal with theology and religion fairly and appropriately as modes of discourse, even if they are modes that you find illogical, you need to deal with them on the basis of critical analysis and reflection. Modern theology departments are places where the nature of faith and its relevance to society are explored critically via agreed methodologies. What we do is relevant to those who question the need for religion as much as to those who are in the mosque, church, gurdwara or synagogue every week.
Why study this course at the University of Birmingham?
At Birmingham we have staff and students of all faiths, and none. What unites us is a curiosity about, and critical respect for, religion, faith and spirituality. So for example, Christian students take classes in Islamic Studies and many Muslims take modules in Christian theology. Mutual understanding, especially in today's world, is desirable - and the secular, non-partisan university is a good place for dialogue to take place.
Religion is more than just a social phenomenon. Simply investigating the sociocultural aspects of community relations really isn't enough. You need skills in the study of religion, andour Department at Birmingham has specialist expertise in the study of many of the movements and traditions that are shaping the 21st century world. Our staff are in active dialogue with religious belief and practice, too, and with approaches and perspectives such as feminism, cultural studies, Sufism, Pentecostalism and the study of the Holocaust.
The Department is highly innovative and you will benefit from inventive teaching including considering new ways to interpret the Bible, gaining understanding of interreligious relations or exploring the changing forms of religion today. Staff are committed to helping students to understand cutting edge issues. Staff are committed to helping students understand cutting-edge issues as they relate to contemporary and ancient religious traditions in areas such as gender studies, global ethics, and Cyber religion.
Ninety per cent of students on the BA Theology course secure a job or go into further study within six months of graduation.
Above all, at Birmingham you'll benefit from an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment for your undergraduate studies, focused on ensuring that you are a fully supported and active learner. Our unique degrees are designed to provide both academic excellence and vocational development; a balance that's highly sought after by employers in today's intellectual and creative industries. The courses are also very flexible, allowing you to specialise more and more as you progress, culminating in a final-year dissertation that allows you to carry out in-depth, individually supervised research into topics of your choice
Why study Theology and Religion at Birmingham?
Open day talk 2013 by Dr David Cheetham