What actually is Theology?

What it’s like to study the subject no one knows anything about

In defence of the all too common accusation that Theology isn’t a real subject, you find the only easy way to explain what you’re paying £9K a year to study is: ‘it’s like philosophy, but not quite’.

It is hard to describe a degree where the main objective is to master the art of gobbet-writing and to study a being that can’t actually be understood.

When people ask you what you want to do when you graduate, you make the same joke again and again, which is basically saying that you don’t actually want to become a priest. Also, it doesn’t really matter right now -any degree from Durham is a good degree. At the very least a Theology degree from Durham is better than a Theology degree from Hull, that’s always something, right?

You do learn some useful life skills in Theology – no one can take away from you the fact that you know all 16 declensions of the ancient Greek word for ‘dragon’, or that you could talk for hours about how God is in fact a poppy. Not to show off or anything.

Despite there only appearing to be about 15 other people on your course, you only really know two or three names, and that’s mostly because you sign each other into lectures when you can’t face another hour of gobbets and the Bible.

For a course that has a maximum of 10 contact hours throughout the week, you’d think you would spend less of your time complaining about how many essays you have to do, and speed reading for your seminar on the way to Palace Green. Sadly not. You’re lucky if you turn up to your one hour a day, especially if it’s before 12pm.

Jokes aside, Theology is actually a pretty interesting subject. Whether you want to learn more about God, religion, or even the psychology behind why people choose to be religious, Theology offers an insight into the workings of the world as we know it. Often labelled as an irrelevant subject, the course casts a light on the importance that religion has had and continues to play in shaping society and culture.

Plus, at the end of the day, you do secretly enjoy the lectures that you do turn up to – plus, you get to go out  at least three times a week without really suffering for it. What more could you want?

Durham University