Things you always get asked if you study Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

‘I’m not going to be a priest, okay?’


Like the majority of BA degrees, it’s typical to receive constant questioning about the likes of what you do and what your future holds. Religion, Philosophy and Ethics is no different. With an array of misunderstandings from those mathletes, the same old questions apply.

What do you actually do? You have it easy.

First things first, we do not have it easy. Yes, eight contacts hours per week is actually laughable, but this does not mean our work load is any less. In fact, with all that unused time, you are left deserted and alone to work it out for yourself.

Not only is finding the will to do this impossible, but it’s actually really hard and time consuming. You know that one lecturer that you learn nothing from so you have to teach yourself? Well that’s basically our lives. And religion is not as easy as you might think.

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Do you want to be a priest?

After spending hours in the library discussing the ethics of pornography, the last thing on our mind is becoming a priest. Where has the assumption come from that in order to study religion, you have to be religious? Contrary to common belief, we don’t just sit around reading the Bible, stroking our chins and contemplating the meaning of life.

Likewise, if you are religious, and you study religion, apparently the only career path for you is in the church. Might as well quit while you’re ahead, because any other dreams will be crushed.

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So, you must want to be a teacher then?

Now that you’ve highlighted that being a priest is not your dream job, it seems the only other plan for your future is to teach religious studies. That’s it. Those are the only two things you can ever become.

Due to the fact we rarely ever know or understand what’s going on in a philosophy lecture, teaching it is out of the question, purely because we’d somehow have to learn what we’re actually talking about.

Why would you pick that topic?

Let’s get this straight, if I’m not asking why you study ‘Phallic studies’ or ‘Football culture’, then please don’t ask me why I would study something as interesting and as relevant as religion. Not only is it something that effects most of our lives everyday, but the trips are also pretty exciting.

From touring around London’s Scientology Church (yes it’s as weird as you might think), to being blessed by a Buddhist monk, you get to relish in some amazing adventures.

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Where can that get you?

Back to this old boring topic again, but it’s a common one. Any Arts and Humanities students out there will know all too well how frequent this question is asked, and you’re usually ready to pounce with a prepared speech on why it’s the best degree in the world.

Although it may not hold the most obvious career paths, a degree in religion can get you into so many aspects of life, like charity work, TV and media, journalism and law if you can believe it. And obviously, the church and religious organisations will warmly welcome you.