Why does Pi study three religions in Life of Pi?

Quick answer:

Pi studies three religions, which are Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity, because he admires elements from all three.

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Pi considers himself a practitioner of Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam despite the fact that the leaders of these three faiths consider their beliefs the exclusive truth regarding the nature of God and reality. He is attracted to religious ritual and religious stories in particular. He takes inspiration from these stories and feels that embracing them makes the world seem more beautiful and meaningful, whether or not they are literally and historically true. For example, he loves the sensuality of Hindu rituals, the centrality of love in the Christian gospels, and the emphasis on community and prayerful devotion in Islam.

By and large, Pi is not interested in rigid theological dogma of any kind (hence his unwillingness to forego two of these religions for one of the others), particularly any dogma which excludes those of other faiths. For Pi, religion is ideally a unifying force. He believes all religions are centered on love and communication with God, hence there is no contradiction in practicing three different ones. He even compares having multiple religions to possessing multiple passports, since all are gateways to God. All speak to a great universal truth. For Pi, they are all part of one bigger story, and all three religions help see him through his ordeal.

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