Dr I.A Musa
Head of Department
Religious education commenced in the then Department Curriculum of Studies, Faculty of Education some decades ago. In view of the fact that religious studies as a broad discipline was not taught as a school subject, the Department decide to introduce the B.A. (Hons) Ed. Christian Religious Studies and the B.A. (Hons) Ed. Islamic Religious Studies which replaced the B.A. (Hons) Ed. Religious Studies. In 2005 when the Department Curriculum of Studies was split into two, the two programmes came under the Department of Arts & Social Sciences Education. Considering the need for an extensive and intensive study of religion beyond its limited utilities in the school system, the Senate of the University of Lagos on 2016 approved the establishment of the Department of Religious Studies in the Faculty of Arts. The following two academic programmes were also approved to be run under the new department:
- Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) Degree in Christian Studies
- Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) Degree in Islamic Studies
The existence of religious education (Christian and Islamic) alone under the Faculty of Education has obscured the larger breadth and depth of religious studies as a parent discipline with diverse opportunities of specialization and programme offerings that ought to address critical needs of individuals who intend to study religion for purposes other than professionalizing as teachers. The extensive and intensive study of religion, within our socio-cultural context should foster religious understanding and cooperation among adherents of various religions. Moreover, the spate of religious radicalism, corruption and deteriorating levels of morality demands a corresponding and robust intellectual engagement if durable solutions are to be proffered to them. The huge role of religious studies in all of these should not be ignored. Religious Studies at the tertiary level not only presents an opportunity to deepen the knowledge base of students in religious traditions, it also provides a platform for creating insights into contemporary religious issues at both local and global levels. The Department of Religious Studies should form an intersection among various disciplines since there is a religious dimension to every human endeavour.
The aims and objectives of the Department of Religious Studies include:
- To provide students the opportunity of training in religious studies and moral orientation with particular focus on Islam and Christianity.
- To conduct innovative research on religion as a local and global phenomenon from antiquity through the contemporary world.
- To serve as a platform of interdisciplinary interaction among scholars of religion and intellectuals in various fields.
- To explore and disseminate knowledge about the diverse aspects of Islam and Christianity in particular and other religions in general and the implications for Nigeria, Africa and the world.
- To prepare students for employment in the public and private sectors especially in employments where integrity and uprightness are greatly valued