After 800 Years, Oxford Theology Students Ditch Christianity For Feminism, Buddhism, Islam Studies


Graduates are seen queueing to have their photograph taken after a graduation ceremony at Oxford University, Oxford, southern England in this May 28, 2011 file photograph. Not much separates Britain’s two oldest universities, Oxford and Cambridge, in their academic standing or the tally of victories in their annual boat race, but when it comes to finances, Cambridge is ahead by several lengths.

Oxford University is deviating from its 800-year-old tradition to remain relevant to “the dramatic change” in the U.K., by allowing its undergraduate theology students to skip studying Christianity after the first year of their degree, and choose instead subjects like “Feminist Approaches to Theology and Religion” and “Buddhism in Space and Time.”

“We recognize that the people who come to study at Oxford come from a variety of different backgrounds and have legitimately different interests,” Times Higher Education quotes Johannes Zachhuber, board chairman of the theology faculty, as saying.

From September 2017, theology students will have to study Christianity only in their first year, and can opt for other areas, including feminism, Buddhism, Islam and mysticism, from second year onwards. A result of seven years of consultation, the new course will be called “theology and religion” for the first time.

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