An Unexpected Turn: Majoring in Theology at Georgetown
By: Katie Rosenberg
November 3, 2014
Before coming to Georgetown, I had never taken a religious studies course (outside of my mom making me attend Sunday school leading up to my First Communion and Confirmation). It’s not that I didn’t care for religious studies; I simply wasn’t even aware of it as an academic discipline. That changed, however, with a required course I took during my freshman year at Georgetown: “The Problem of God.” Many Georgetown students sing the praises of this class, and I could not agree with them more. In this class, we were taught to study religion objectively, thoughtfully, carefully, and critically. It was an eye-opening experience, and one that has made a profound impact on my time at Georgetown and my academic interests. By the end of that year, I was a declared Theology major and knew I wanted to spend my four years at Georgetown studying religion and the ways in which it impacts and affects people’s lives around the world.
Now, ten theology classes in, I am just as passionate about the study of religion as I was when I first discovered it three years ago. I have taken many classes at Georgetown that have opened my eyes to the way people live and observe around the world. My focus has fallen on the Abrahamic religions, and I have had the opportunity to take many different classes to explore these issues. I have taken “Bible Literature,” which laid out the foundations of Christian understanding, and “Judaism in America,” which revealed the cultural impact of Judaism on early immigrants and modern Jews in this country. Last fall, when I was abroad at Trinity College Dublin, I took “Islam and Gender,” which emphasized the impact of Islam on women both in the Middle East and around the world. And I have truly loved every minute spent in these classes.
I remember going to my dean at the end of my freshman year, hesitant about whether or not to declare my Theology major. I told him that I was worried that my interests were too varied and scattered. After all, I wanted to study religion, theater, and literature; these seemed to be the three most arbitrary and impractical of all fields. He told me that, although I may not see it at the time, one day I would recognize the extent to which these interests overlapped.
He could not have been more correct. Theology is so much more than the study of the divine: it is history, literature, ethics, philosophy, performance, anthropology…It is fundamentally the study of the human condition: how we live and what we live for. I am excited and honored to continue this study with the Doyle Undergraduate Fellows Program this year.