How would study of religions be different if we take out God out of the equation? This poses two questions. Firstly why do you need it without God? And secondly why is religion relevant to be studied? Let me try to answer the second question first. The relevance of religion and beliefs in human civilization are so high that you can’t understand man without knowing what has over the years shaped his mind. From fears, to laws, to cultures to wars, religions have played a major role. The future is also much the same and we are seeing more and more people trying to identify them with religions and trying to communicate with others through it. This in due course can create a vast gap among people and if more people are open to learn religion in a new light the more things can get closer. I strongly feel that this would be a better solution that promoting an outright rejection of religion.
Now for the first question, when you remove God from the equation, the whole thing becomes a philosophy which can be questioned and discussed and refined for the betterment of mankind. The moment you have God in the picture, everyone who believes will find it difficult to go against divinity and it is a defense mechanism rather than collaborative knowledge sharing. Every religious scripture from every religion should be studied without God in mind. Will this lose the relevance of what is said in a religion? Not necessarily, Religions might lose some points of arguments that they only argue in the light of divinity and so be cornered to be more practical and factual. Believers and Atheists will also find a common ground to work towards what is good for man.
I am not saying that those who believe in God should stop doing it, it is a free world and you have the right to your belief system. But you will be able to build bridges between people of faith and those without faith so that you can understand the underlying philosophy in each. This would be the start of a neutral learning, a learning without the preconception that only one thing is right. Only if you question can you find answers and only if you find answers will you have solutions for the world problems.