I loved my career in medicine but if I was starting again I might choose anthropology or a combination with medicine. Anthropology is a most interesting subject. It’s basically the study of humanity and asks the question “what defines Homo sapiens?” It is the study of our behavior.
Some folks study animals beside homo sapiens and attempt to correlate the similarities between humans and the apes. Jane Goodall devoted her life to studying chimpanzees and Dian Fossey studied Gorillas. Margaret Mead studied the people of the South Pacific and their attitudes toward sex. There are many subjects to be explored about our behavior and culture. I would probably choose the religious practices of homo sapiens.
Our religious practices are numerous and varied. They range all the way from human sacrifice to meditation. To begin with, there are some major differences in religion and our concept of a supreme being with the major groups being; Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism, Scientology, New Age, etc. etc. I would probably narrow my study to the many religious practices associated with Christianity. That would take a lifetime of study and I’m sure would end in major confusion as to which practice is correct. Most everyone thinks their way is the only correct one.
Christianity has two major divisions: Catholics and Protestants. There are several orders in the Catholic Church and the sects who are non-catholic are as numerous as the grains of sand on the beach or the stars in the sky. Just out of the local phone book here are some of the non-catholic groups: Assembly of God, Baptist, Baptist Independent, Baptist Missionary, Bible, Brethren, Christian, Christian Disciples of Christ, Christian Science, Church of Christ, Church of God, Church of God in Christ, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Church of the Nazarene, Episcopal, Interdenominational, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Lutheran, Evangelical Lutheran, Methodist African Episcopal, Methodist United, Non-denominational, Pentecostal, Pentecostal Church of God, Pentecostal Free, Pentecostal United, Presbyterian, Seventh-Day Adventist, Unitarian Universalist, Unity and even Cowboy. In larger cities there are many more and several not mentioned that I know of even in smaller communities.
The worship and practices of worship are as varied as the number of churches themselves. Some roll on the floor until they get the Holy Spirit or babble in unknown tongues. Music ranges from no instruments to rock bands with drums, electric guitars and the whole works. The songs range from chants to traditional and praise. The sermons vary from power point lectures to screaming and pulpit pounding and faith healing.
All this is enough to leave a body confused, at the least. Most of us follow the practices and beliefs of our ancestors in the hope that they were divinely inspired and were set on the right path by God himself.
Anyway, the study of anthropology and our various methods of worship would have been interesting but I’m afraid non-conclusive. I have been told by members of some of the groups listed above that I am going to hell because I am not a member of their group. I just hope my parents were correct in their choice.