The New York Times investigated why some religious ‘nones’–people who don’t identify as religious or part of an historical faith tradition–are attending divinity schools. They profiled several people involved in this phenomenon, including Angie Thurston, a Harvard Divinity School student who has helped create a vibrant community named Harvard Religious Nones for people who don’t associate with traditional religious creeds.
Thurston is critical of the term ‘nones’. From the article:
“It’s difficult to foster community based on negation, on saying what you aren’t,” she said. “To live in this soup of negation, it’s just not lasting.”
The students and alumni profiled speak about feeling drawn to sacredness and rejecting the lack of moral values in mainstream society.
The Atlantic covered a similar topic several years ago, with a first-person essay from a non-religious student of theology, who advocates studying theology to gain a deeper understanding of history and humanity, describing it as the study of history from within. The writer, Tara Isabella Burton, provides a compelling counter-argument to atheists who question the value of a theology degree.
Do you see the value in attending divinity school even if you aren’t devout? Does it surprise you that some people would not see the value of a theology degree?