200+ Religion Research Paper Topics: Latest List

200+ Religion Research Paper Topics: Latest List

Religion is a difficult topic for many students to research because it’s not something you experience every day. Secularism and the fact that the majority of people in societies such as America and Great Britain do not practice religion often inhibit interest in religious matters, but there are many interesting things to write about when it comes to this subject.

The following list of 200+ religion research paper topics should serve as a good starting point if you need help finding something suitable:

  1. What is the role of God in Islam?
  2. The relationship between science and religion throughout history.
  3. What is the history of Buddhism and how has it evolved?
  4. Does God exist?
  5. Is religion an evolutionary adaptation or a set of by-products to other adaptations that emerged as a result of human curiosity and drive for explanation?
  6. The similarities between Egyptian mythology and biblical stories.
  7. How has Christianity influenced society to this day (e.g., holidays, architecture, etc.)?
  8. The religious beliefs and practices of Aztecs.
  9. Are there any exceptions where absolute proof of divinity does not automatically lead to proof against it?
  10. God as represented in the works of Shakespeare.
  11. A comparison between Anglican and Roman Catholic churches as well as any differences in belief systems revealed by such comparisons.
  12. The influence of Christian monks on the European Renaissance.
  13. A comparison of the different religions in Game of Thrones.
  14. Was Christianity a factor in Dante’s The Divine Comedy?
  15. How has religion changed over time?
  16. The influence of Islam on art during the middle Ages.
  17. Was Raëlianism influenced by other religions or only science fiction books?
  18. Hindu philosophy and rituals compared to Taoist philosophy and rituals.
  19. What is Toltec religion all about, and what are its key characteristics?
  20. What were the roles of women in early Christianity? How have they changed over time?
  21. The flaws associated with the concept of “soul.”
  22. Which types of individuals tend to be most religious (e.g., conservatives vs liberals)? Which incidents tend to lead to the most religious behavior (e.g., terrorist attacks)?
  23. Who was the first prophet of Islam? Why is there a controversy over this subject?
  24. What are the major differences between Mormonism and other Christian religions?
  25. Was Judaism influenced by Zoroastrianism in ancient times, or did it influence Zoroastrianism itself?
  26. Ideas about demons in different cultures around the world.
  27. The philosophical foundations of Hinduism compared to those of Buddhism.
  28. The demotion of women in the Catholic church throughout history, particularly with regard to sexual issues such as abortion/contraception/adultery/etc. vs virginity within marriage, motherhood being equated with sexual purity, etc.
  29. Monotheistic doctrines that are no longer practiced (e.g., Jainism)
  30. What are the different types of Buddhism, and why do they vary?
  31. The history of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, including changes made in light of scientific discoveries (such as heliocentrism).
  32. Philosophical question addressed in many religions, such as “why does evil exist?” or “how can free will coexist with divine providence?”
  33. Prophets who were critical in the spread of Judaism throughout the Middle East.
  34. How do Muslims interpret certain verses (and surahs) in the Quran? What is your understanding after researching this topic? How can you form an argument about it based on verifiable facts?
  35. How the churches have been involved in politics throughout history.
  36. The relationship between religion and culture from a historical perspective.
  37. The differences between Eastern and Western concepts of God.
  38. What is the nature of human spirituality?
  39. Christianity, philosophy, and ethics from a Platonic point of view.
  40. Why did Christianity emerge when it did historically speaking?
  41. Is there such a thing as one true religion?  Explain your answer with several religions as examples.
  42. Discuss one or more religious traditions that you find interesting in order to justify your stance on the matter.
  43. How do humans deal with several different interpretations of their holy scriptures?
  44. What happens when there are conflicts between them? This is especially pertinent within the context of Western tradition(s) of Christianity.
  45. The role of the Christian church in political affairs throughout history.  Different examples, such as Henry VIII’s break with Rome, can be used for this topic.
  46. How is organized religion different from personal spirituality? Provide specific examples that you find interesting.
  47. Is it impossible to be religious and secular at the same time (i.e., believe in God but not attend an organized place of worship)? Give reasoning for your answer as well as several examples.
  48. The difference between practicing a religion and following one’s culture .  Give several examples from different traditions to fully illustrate your point.
  49. Discrimination based on religion throughout history and today, especially focusing on how it has been justified by perpetrators and victims alike.
  50. What does it mean to believe? Provide several examples with which you can illustrate your points.
  51. Is atheism a result of the enlightenment, or are both phenomena due to different processes?
  52. Negative effects of religion on society throughout history.
  53. The role of religion in the lives of individuals today.
  54. How technology is influencing aspects of organized religion today (e.g., web-based preaching).
  55. Why do people engage in religious activities even if they’re not sure that there’s an afterlife? Give specific examples from traditions other than Christianity, if possible.
  56. The relationship between human morality and divinity as presented by different religions throughout history.  Different examples could be used for this topic depending on what exactly you want to cover.
  57. What is the relationship between politics and religion? Give examples of different traditions to illustrate your points.
  58. Are there any evil religions today?  Give reasoning for your answer with several examples if possible.
  59. The role of spirituality in life for individuals today.
  60. The influence of organized religion on society throughout history. How has this changed over time, especially recently?
  61. The place of women in society as influenced by organized religion through history (e.g., how it’s contributed to their political, social, and economic standing).
  62. Why do people feel that they need religious explanations when it comes to natural phenomena?  Provide specific examples along with reasoning for your answer.
  63. Different influences on secularism throughout the world today (e.g., colonialism, industrialization).
  64. How does religion affect politics and vice versa?  Different examples can be used depending on the type of focus that you want to have.
  65. The evolution of religious thought throughout history with respect to political events (e.g., the rise and fall of communism in Eastern Europe).
  66. What do different traditions mean when they use the term “God” ?
  67. When is it acceptable for one religion to influence another religion?  Different examples from all around the world could help illustrate your answer.
  68. The relationship between human sexuality and religion throughout history (e.g., why sex was prohibited in some times and in some contexts but allowed in others).
  69. Does organized religion perpetuate discrimination and violence in society today?  Give reasoning for your answer with specific examples.
  70. The role of faith in modern society for individuals today.
  71. What is the relationship between organized religion and indigenous tradition(s) around the world? Different traditions can be used here depending on what you are trying to illustrate.
  72. How do different religions view sexuality through history (e.g., why it’s been viewed as sinful, etc.)? Give specific examples from different traditions.
  73. The future of organized religion throughout the world today .  Different examples can be given depending on what exactly you want to cover.
  74. Why is religious violence especially prevalent within Islam at this point in time ?
  75. Negative effects of secularism on society today (eg., no sense of morality).
  76. Societies with state religions vs. those without them.
  77. The intersection between religion and law.
  78. How does one convert to a religion?
  79. To what extent are religions based on experience vs. logic?
  80. What is the modern view of hell?
  81. Parables of Jesus as compared to those of other religious figures.
  82. The role of violence in different religions throughout history.
  83. The impact Christianity has had on Western culture.
  84. Religious tolerance and intolerance throughout history.
  85. What are some common misconceptions with regard to atheism?
  86. Contradictions between holy books and their current interpretations or practices by believers today.
  87. How do different faiths relate to homosexuality, premarital sex, abortion, etc.?  Discuss how these things differ from society to society and why they’re viewed this way within each faith tradition you choose (cite examples).
  88. What is the history of state establishment of religions?  When was it popular for this to occur, and how has it changed with modern times?  Discuss examples with countries you choose.
  89. What is the difference between psychology and religion in terms of explaining human behavior?
  90. How does organized religion differ from spirituality?
  91. Those who are initiated into a faith tradition often face ostracization from close family members, including their parents.  Why do some view religious practices as taboo if they’re not shared by immediate family members (cite specific examples)?
  92. Explain how different faiths interpret or don’t interpret scriptural passages about social justice.  Give examples to demonstrate your points (cite passages).
  93. Do voluntary associations help or hinder religion?
  94. What are some commonalities between the different Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)?
  95. The role of women in organized religion throughout history.
  96. Examine how things have changed with regard to women’s involvement in churches over time.  How has this varied by region and religion?
  97. Select one particular religion and explain its origin – when it started, who founded it, why did they begin it, what major events led up to its creation, etc.?  Cite specific examples/quotes from key figures involved with the religion to illustrate your points.
  98. A number of religions are considered cults by mainstream society due to their exclusive nature or unconventional beliefs.  Discuss why these types of groups may be susceptible to this label and how this impacts those involved with them.
  99. How do those who lose their faith deal with the change?  What impact does it have on them and those closest to them?
  100. Examine individuals who’ve had near-death experiences and how such events changed their perspective on life as well as death.  Discuss both religious and nonreligious perspectives on what we know about death (cite examples).
  101. What is the relationship between gender roles and religion?
  102. How has globalization impacted major religions today compared to 100 years ago?  Cite specific examples from countries you choose (focus on differences in how various regions view traditions, not exclusively historical changes).
  103. The role religion during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.
  104. Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are considered Abrahamic religions due to their common ties/origins.  Choose another religion that isn’t one of these four and explain its relationship to them (cite examples).
  105. How do different faiths construct views on the afterlife?  Cite specific examples from your chosen tradition(s) to demonstrate your points.
  106. The impact Hinduism has had on Indian culture throughout history.
  107. Gender roles in different religious traditions throughout time (focus on how they vary by region).
  108. “New Religious Movements” or NRMs – what is the history behind this label and who uses it versus who doesn’t use it?  What kind of criteria make a group a NRM?
  109. What is the difference between “religion” and “faith”?  Is there a difference?  Examine how each of these terms are defined, including by those who use them.
  110. The impact religions have on society as well as politics.
  111. Examine global events that may have had an influence on religion (from natural disasters to social movements) during the 20th century.  Cite examples to demonstrate your points. How do people of various faiths view secular humanism/atheists/nonreligious individuals?  Give specific examples with references where available to illustrate your points.   What is the common core among major religious traditions today despite their many differences?
  112. How does meditation differ from prayer within a religious context?  Examine the similarities and differences between these two concepts from your chosen faith tradition.
  113. Are new religions a response to changes within society or a reflection of it?
  114. “Secular societies have no place for God, while religious states can’t tolerate any challenge to their authority.”  Discuss this quote in relation both to social science research as well as religious texts/traditions themselves.
  115. What is the history behind polytheism compared to monotheism?  Cite examples from at least three different faiths (include examples from past and present faiths).
  116. How do ideas about redemption vary among different religions throughout time?
  117. Globalization, immigration, and how they’ve modern religion(s).
  118. Religion and the changing of events throughout history.
  119. A study of different religions on how they view sex and sexual orientation.
  120. The development of religion and why certain people believed it and others didn’t.
  121. How the Japanese reacted to Christianity during colonization.
  122. What was life like for those who worked on slave ships, such as the Middle Passage?
  123. Examine different methods used to convert African slaves to Christianity in America
  124. Comparison between the Bible and Qur’an.
  125. The importance of religious rites in different cultures.
  126. Origins of the world’s major religions.
  127. The role of religion in society today (in America/Europe/Asia).
  128. How Christianity has changed throughout history.
  129. What happens when you die in Hinduism vs. Buddhism.
  130. Effects of globalization on traditional ideas about gender roles (especially for women) in different societies (focus on India, China, Japan).
  131. The role of ancestor worship in East Asian societies (focus on China, Korea, Japan).
  132. Differences between various types of Christianity (Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Protestantism).
  133. What are the roots of the conflict between Hindus and Muslims?  Are there any similarities between the ongoing conflicts in Palestine and Kashmir?
  134. What is the role of Buddhism in Indian society today?
  135. How have religions affected politics throughout history?
  136. The relationship between feminism and religion.
  137. Comparison of non-theistic Eastern philosophy with Western monotheism.
  138. Role of religion in American politics compared to Europe (or vice versa).
  139. Social effects of religious zealotry (in America/Europe/Asia).
  140. Effects of poverty on religious belief (in developed countries vs. developing nations; focus on global north, south, east, west).Are there any pros or cons to living under an authoritarian regime as opposed to a democracy? How does this compare to other forms of government like monarchy or communism?
  141. The influence of religion on art/literature throughout history.
  142. The role of the Christian Bible in shaping world history.
  143. Subjects to Avoid When Writing about Religion
  144. No matter what religion you believe in, or if you simply think that arguments about whether God exists are best left for philosophers and theologians, there are issues that you should avoid discussing when writing a research paper on this subject. These include:
  145. The origins of religion itself (as opposed to the different religions themselves).
  146. Who is right or wrong when it comes to disputes between various religions (or atheists).
  147. Arguments about which religion is the ‘true’ one (Christianity vs. Judaism vs. Islam; Hinduism vs. Buddhism; etc.).
  148. Descriptions that compare religion to mental illness (while it’s true that some people need psychological help, religion is not an illness nor should it be diagnosed like one).
  149. Secularists would argue that religions are inherently at odds with scientific method, but many devoutly religious people would disagree. Discuss this topic.
  150. Discuss the pros and cons of having an established church in a society.
  151. How is belief in God different from other kinds of ideological systems?
  152. What are some benefits to believing in God? What are the associated costs?
  153. How do religions help societies adapt to changes?
  154. Explain how the social contract plays a role in different religions’ moral principles.
  155. The situation in Afghanistan prior to 9/11 and what it says about Islam’s attitude toward women.  Is there any connection between Islamic beliefs and suicide terrorism against civilians that occurs off-handedly or against military targets? Explain your position using from news articles, primary sources, scholarly texts, etc.
  156. What are the main differences between Eastern religions and Western or Abrahamic faiths?
  157. What are examples of religious syncretism in world history?
  158. What is the best way to evaluate the existence of God? What criteria should be used?
  159. How do religions impact politics around the world today?
  160. Does religion have an answer to any currently unresolved questions within science or other fields of inquiry? If so, what are they? Data from various religions can be compared if desired. Examine this question using arguments for and against.
  161. Where did different monotheistic religions originate geographically and why does this matter?
  162. Which great philosophical thinkers have written about aspects of religion that are generally ignored by scholars who aren’t philosophers (such as whether God exists, whether an afterlife is possible, etc.)?
  163. Compare the different religions in terms of which are most popular today. How do they differ? What makes them appealing or not appealing to people? Which are growing or shrinking and why?
  164. How has religion changed over time? Use historical examples when possible.
  165. What role does religion play in modern society’s attitudes toward sexuality/reproduction/abortion/etc.? Be sure that your topic is clearly defined.
  166. How have religious groups used technology to advance their cause throughout history? What kinds have been most effective? Why did they succeed when others failed?
  167. Using specific examples, explain how religion has influenced politics in the United States particularly since the 1960s.  Using primary sources may be helpful.
  168. What are the benefits of believing in God? What about not believing in Him/Her/It? What is faith?
  169. Is it possible for faith to co-exist with modern science or do they always conflict? Explain why, using examples if possible (with scholarly sources).
  170. Which religious rituals are most common today and what can studying them tell us about how religions work, both historically and currently? How does this vary by religion?
  171. How has globalization affected Christianity around the world since World War II? Give specific examples. Be sure to use scholarly publications.
  172. Discuss whether cults (like Scientology) should be considered real religions or not. Assuming your position is that they shouldn’t be considered religions explain why they aren’t legitimate from a scholarly perspective.
  173. How have religious groups been able to use the freedom of religion as a defense in cases where their activities have been accused of being unlawful? Discuss using examples from multiple religions and cultures.
  174. Who should be responsible for the funding of religion, the government or individuals? What are the pros and cons of each? Who should decide how much should be allocated toward religion and its activities?
  175. What do different religions say about whether it’s okay to kill non-human animals or not? How has this changed over time if at all? How does this vary by region/religion/culture/etc.?
  176. Why is Western culture more prone to conflict between science and religion than other parts of the (e.g., Asian, African, South American) world? How accurate is this statement? Why or why not?
  177. What types of religious conflicts are more likely to lead to violence and war than others? Provide examples.
  178. How does someone become a priest in various religions, historically and today? What is required for the position (e.g., training period, education level, passing certain tests)? Describe as specifically as possible.
  179. Many people believe that believing in God makes one happier/is good for your health/increases life expectancy. Discuss from a scholarly perspective whether those claims have been proven true or false.
  180. What historical events have led to what we now commonly describe as “organized religion?” Give specific examples using primary sources when possible.
  181. How has the Internet changed the way people interact with religion and how religions spread? Discuss specifics, such as how it increases access to information and allows for more opportunities to connect with others.
  182. Who was Jesus Christ – a religious leader, a prophet, a God incarnate, etc.? Why do different religious groups have different perspectives on this? What evidence is there that supports each perspective?
  183. Some say that atheism is a religion even though it doesn’t consider itself one. Others disagree. Discuss whether or not atheism could be considered a religion from an academic perspective. Explain why you agree or disagree using examples from scholarly publications.
  184. How has the role of women in various religions changed over time? What still needs to be done achieve gender equality within those religions today?
  185. What social, economic, and/or political factors helped lead to the development of yoga in India? When did it start becoming popular throughout the world?
  186. How do different religions view transgender people (i.e., those who identify with a gender that doesn’t match their biological sex)? Is there an increase in this view among younger generations? Why or why not?
  187. Do religious texts like the bible promote peace or war/violence/division/tension between groups today? Give specific examples from multiple texts to support your answer.
  188. Who should be allowed to convert another person to their religion and under what circumstances? What are advantages and disadvantages for both parties in the decision making process when someone wants to convert another individual? Provide examples.
  189. Who should be allowed to convert another person to their religion and under what circumstances? What are advantages and disadvantages for both parties in the decision making process when someone wants to convert another individual? Provide examples.
  190. How has the Internet changed the way people interact with religion and how religions spread? Discuss specifics, such as how it increases access to information and allows for more opportunities to connect with others.
  191. Some say that atheism is a religion even though it doesn’t consider itself one. Others disagree. Discuss whether or not atheism could be considered a religion from an academic perspective. Explain why you agree or disagree using examples from scholarly publications.
  192. How do different religions view transgender people (i.e., those who identify with a gender that doesn’t match their biological sex)? Is there an increase in this view among younger generations? Why or why not?
  193. Who was Jesus Christ – a religious leader, a prophet, a God incarnate, etc.? Why do different religious groups have different perspectives on this? What evidence is there that supports each perspective?
  194. Do religious texts like the bible promote peace or war/violence/division/tension between groups today? Give specific examples from multiple texts to support your answer.
  195. What types of religious conflicts are more likely to lead to violence and war than others? Provide examples.
  196. Many people believe that believing in a god or gods is irrational. Is it possible to make the case that believing in a god or gods is actually rational? If so, how would you justify your position?
  197. The number of people who claim no religious affiliation has been increasing in recent years. What factors have contributed to this trend? Why does this matter from an academic perspective?
  198. What role do prayer and meditation play in different religions (i.e., what purposes do they serve)? How does participating in these activities help adherents grow closer to their deity(s) and each other?
  199. If someone wanted to learn more about Buddhism, where should they start? Provide recommendations on what texts could be best utilized by those interested in gaining knowledge about this major world religion.
  200. Some say that atheism is a religion even though it doesn’t consider itself one. Others disagree. Discuss whether or not atheism could be considered a religion from an academic perspective. Explain why you agree or disagree using examples from scholarly publications.
  201. What role do prayer and meditation play in different religions (i.e., what purposes do they serve)? How does participating in these activities help adherents grow closer to their deity(s) and each other?
  202. What types of religious conflicts are more likely to lead to violence and war than others? Provide examples.
  203. How has the Internet changed the way people interact with religion and how religions spread? Discuss specifics, such as how it increases access to information and allows for more opportunities to connect with others.
  204. Many people believe that believing in a god or gods is irrational. Is it possible to make the case that believing in a god or gods is actually rational? If so, how would you justify your position?
  205. The number of people who claim no religious affiliation has been increasing in recent years. What factors have contributed to this trend? Why does this matter from an academic perspective?
  206. What do different religions (Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism) say about sex and sexuality? How does each religion view homosexuality, premarital sex, etc.? What are the practical consequences of practicing these beliefs/viewpoints in everyday life?
  207. Why has there been such an increase in the evangelical Christian population over the last 50 years in America? What role has television played in this phenomenon?
  208. What evidence is there that supports the claim that religion has been on a decline in America since 2007? What evidence might support the opposite point of view (i.e., that religion is actually becoming more popular)?
  209. Religious texts like the bible promote peace or war/violence/division/tension between groups today? Give specific examples from multiple texts to support your answer.
  210. What role does scripture play in different religions? Discuss how these scripts help adherents grow closer and remain committed to their beliefs and each other.
  211. How do different religions view transgender people (i.e., those who identify with a gender that doesn’t match their biological sex)? Is there an increase in this view among younger generations? Why or why not?
  212. How is religion used as a tool for social change (i.e., what groups and individuals utilize it and how)?
  213. What evidence can you provide to prove or disprove the existence of god(s)? What sources would you use?
  214. What role does scripture play in different religions? Discuss how these scripts help adherents grow closer and remain committed to their beliefs and each other.
  215. Why has there been such an increase in the evangelical Christian population over the last 50 years in America? What role has television played in this phenomenon?
  216. “Religion is not just a personal issue; it also affects society at large.” Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not, using examples from scholarly publications to support your position.

 

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