Department of Religion Studies Department of Religion Studies

Department of Religion Studies

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About Religion Studies

Religion is an inherent part of the heritage of humankind and continues to play a very significant role in all societies. The Department of Religion Studies focuses on diverse religions including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, African and Eastern religions.  All of these faith traditions have for millennia, in their own unique way articulated the human search for meaning and continue to do so. In order to fully appreciate the rich diversity of people’s religious expressions and to find out what the sense of such expressions is for our contemporary societies, we at UJ embrace the study of religion through scientific approaches and in an unbiased manner.​

 What can you learn from Religion Studies?

Religion has a global impact on societies. Therefore, Religion Studies equips you to address questions central to the human search for meaning. One can hardly hope to fully understand world history and literature or current events like the presidential elections, or current issues like climate change, sustainable development, increasing poverty and inequality, rights violations and the struggle to build sustainable peace in and around the world without knowledge of religion. The study of religion thus forms an integral aspect of a well-informed student of the Humanities. Religion Studies prepare students for a life in a pluralistic society and global culture and by studying religion a person can also enhance excellence in the study of other disciplines, such as law, education, history, literature, politics, medicine, and business.

What many may not know about Religion Studies

Religion Studies use historical, philosophical, political and sociological approaches in its study, and students in Religion Studies are expected to remain neutral about the question of the truth of religious beliefs. Currently, the job market is less interested in what one knows and more interested in how creative one is and what one can do with knowledge. Religion Studies not only provides students with a solid training for careers in religion but also equips them with a set of skills useful for critical thinking, abstract reasoning, and logical analysis that are relevant in various career options today.

Why would you choose to do Religion Studies?

You will be able to solve problems and critically think about important and deep issues for you to make informed decisions. Moreover, our post-graduate studies give you the opportunity to choose a research topic of your interest that match your future career. After a postgraduate degree in Religion Studies, the acquired research and thinking skills can be a great asset to the job market.

Should an international student be interested in Religion Studies?

There are many reasons to study Religion Studies as an international student. While exploring another part of the world you learn much from students and lecturers who have different experiences.

For more about us watch this short video  

Find here more information on how to choose your subjects in your 1st year 

Congratulations! You’ve made us proud!

The following students graduated with a PhD degree this year

Dr Paul Hesman, with his thesis: ‘The Construct of New Creation in Paul's Letter to the Romans’, supervised by Prof Lilly Nortje-Meyer.

Dr Nadeem Mahomed, with his thesis ‘On the Margins of Faith: A Critical Historical Study of Muslim Religious Identity and the Minority Ahmadi Community in Cape Town’, supervised by Prof Farid Esack. Nadeem is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Cape Town

The following students graduated with a Masters degree this year

Tsitsidzashe Bvute (with distinction): The Rise of Pentecostalism in Zimbabwe during the Political and Economic Crisis GabiTucker: Power Dynamics within the Anglican Mothers Union in the Diocese of Johannesburg

The following students graduated with BA Hons in Religion on 23 May

  • Asmal, Ubaid
  • Chiosa, Jaffar
  • Kindi, Sulaiman (with distinction)
  • Mahomed Akhalwaya, Muhammad
  • Mcneill, Cleorisha
  • Nhleko, Nomfundo
  • Pirbacosse, Ackthar
  • Saldanha, Colette (with distinction)
  • Saldanha, Wayne (with distinction)
  • Seedat, Muhammad
  • Zulu, Nonzuzo