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About the OCRS

Established in 2016, the Online Centre for Religious Studies aims to promote and facilitate the academic study of religion for a wide and diverse audience.

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Study religion online

Our courses will take you from the basics of what a religion is (or isn't!), right through to a detailed exploration of the key faiths alive today.

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Free resources

Download free digital resources for personal use, or to assist in the classroom.

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Common Misunderstandings About Religious Studies

20 December 2018 | Luke Burns

Religious studies is the academic study of religion, this means that it involves careful and critical investigation, sympathetic understanding, and balanced opinions. However, there are plenty of misunderstandings about what religious studies means, or what it involves. Here are some of the ‘myths’ that we’ve encountered… It’s for priests / religious people This one seems to most frequently relate to a perception that religion = Christianity and religious studies = being a better Christian.

Why study religion?

7 December 2018 | Luke Burns

We’re naturally curious about the world around us, and are drawn to things we find interesting; all of us will learn about something in our free time. It might be a new skill like crochet, web development, tennis, or horse riding; it might be the ins and outs of celebrity lives, footballer statistics, or political intrigue; and it might be an academic subject like geology, history, or… religious studies. But why religious studies?

True Religion and Religious Truths

5 December 2018 | Luke Burns

As practitioners of religious studies, academics are advised against investigating the truth claims of different religious traditions - it’s one of those awkward subjects that cannot be reliably studied (hence the ongoing difficulties integrating scientific empiricism with religious accounts of the world). However, in a world full of competing truth claims, worldviews, and ways of living, the question inevitably sneaks in… what does it mean that different prophets and sages make equally compelling arguments, accrue millions of followers, endure for thousands of years, yet offer no material proof?