Ryan Thompson

Ryan Thompson

Religion, Political Science, Political Philosophy Majors

I became a Religion major in order to diversify my perspective and to gain a better understanding of different cultures than my own. When I came to Syracuse University, I never thought that I would major in Religion. On hearing that there were religion courses in the Liberal Arts Core, I thought that the classes would be like Sunday school; but I was totally wrong. My view of religion was completely transformed when I took Dr. Braiterman’s Judaism course. I had an ‘a-ha’ moment about the academic study of religion, when we examined the role of the Torah (or ancient Jewish law) in establishing the tabernacle as a hierarchical place. I have always been fascinated by the way that law shapes societies, their culture, and their political institutions. A triple major in Religion, Political Science, and Political Philosophy has allowed me to focus this interest by encouraging me to investigate the way in which religion functions as both a dynamic mode of social life in different groups and as an integral part of society’s institutional structure. Out of all my majors, I enjoy Religion the most, because it challenges me to think critically and to compare cultures. In doing so, it has diversified my perspective, giving me a better understanding of different faith traditions and cultures than my own, particularly Jewish and African-American cultures. My plans are to go to law school in order to become a district attorney. Although law is not always religious, studying religion has prepared me for law school. It has also laid the foundation for me to go to graduate school, should I decide to pursue a career as a professor and a scholar instead.