Religion majors on the rise

Total enrollment in religion classes also growing
As a teenager in a Catholic high school and church, Lauren McCormick of Toms River, New Jersey, was taught to look at the world in ways that revolved around Jesus. That was a dozen religion courses ago, including six in an esoteric field she now hopes to study for the rest of her life—ancient Near Eastern pagan religions.

A religion major at Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, McCormick grew interested in studying all major faiths. “I could study for years on end and never get bored with it,” she said.

Her fascination has centered on 3,500-year-old Near Eastern beliefs since she learned in her freshman year that the customs of those faiths were similar to some Judeo-Christian traditions that involve seasonal rituals and certain views on divinity. “The same elements are always there, but they take on different faces throughout different societies,” McCormick said.

 

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