SCRIBESPARK

Academic Study of Religion



Lesson Objectives

• Define Key Terms

• Explain the difference between a Theologian and a Scholar

• Explain the evolution of Religious Studies (Comparative to Functionalist)


Key Terms

Normative

Descriptive

Theologian (c.f. "Confessional Theology")

Scholar of Religion (c.f. "Religious Studies")

Essentialism

Functionalism





Religion in a Public School Setting


The Theologian & the Scholar

• A theogian does religion. A scholar studies religion.

• A theologian picks sides; a scholar does not.

• A scholar is interested in historical, philosophical, and sociological reasons

why a theologian or religious group makes a claim

• Not whether the theologian or religious group is right


Why Scholarship doesn’t compete with Theology (3 min vid)

• Different approaches with different goals

• Theology: shares personal beliefs as “Truth”

• Scholarship: shares peer-reviewed scholarship; makes no claims to “Truth”

• They appeal to different audiences (i.e. student vs congregant)


What does a Scholar of Religion do?

• Contextualize a social group's origins, texts, and claims

• Compare claims of a social group with the historical record

• Critique social power structures and how they are used

• Analyze the ways social groups perceive and simplify complex social problems • Resist social forces that aim to make religious authorities unquestionable