Job prospects for Pagan scholars

I am speaking only of religious studies here, and I wish only to point out that a PhD (or terminal master’s degree) with an emphasis on Pagan Studies is a poor bet in the academic job market at the present time.

Every year, following the annual meeting, the American Academy of Religion publishes a list of academic positions for which interviews were conducted at the annual meeting, as well as the number of candidates who interviewed for each opening. The top fields and number of positions in each:

New Testament (12), South Asian religions (10), Asian religions (10), Islam (9), Hebrew bible (9), Other (9), Catholic theology (8), History of Christianity/Church history (7).

There are several dozen other categories with somewhere between 6 and 0 openings this year–54 categories in all. “Asian religions” had jumped a lot from 2003; and “Islam,” of course, climbed after 11 September 2001. There were no openings in 2004 and 2003 in “new religious movements” and just one in 2003 in “women’s studies in religion.”

Candidates need multiple arrows in their quivers. As for me, now you know why I teach in the English Department.