Jessica Simpson Mulls Religious Studies

Singer Jessica Simpson looks like she might be heading to college to study religion after revealing in an interview her love for the subject.

"I've been contemplating taking a college course in religion," the pop star-turned-country singer told Marie Claire magazine. "I love religion."

Simpson said she was especially drawn by the Discovery Channel feature "Da Vinci's Lost Code," which aired ahead of the theatrical release of "The Da Vinci Code" starring Tom Hanks.

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"I remember whenever the book 'The Da Vinci Code' came out, the Discovery Channel did this three-night piece on it that I TiVoed and then watched eight times," she said.

Simpson's statement is the latest turnaround by the 28-year-old songstress who has been trying to return to her roots after years of criticism and sometimes far-from-flattering portrayal from the media.

Earlier this year, Simpson officially switched from pop music to country after her father, a church minister, had revealed to the public her desire to release a country record and get "back to her roots."

Simpson grew up surrounded by country and gospel music. She sang in the church and started out in Christian music, recording a gospel album, her first solo project, with Proclaim Records. But the label folded before her album was released. Her grandmother ended up paying for the album to be pressed and they sold it while touring the Christian music circuit. Eventually, mega music biz mogul Tommy Mottola heard the recordings and signed her to a pop music deal with Columbia Records.

During her pop run, Simpson had a short-lived marriage to boy band singer Nick Lachey, was criticized for the sexualized image she used in the music video for "These Boots Are Made for Walkin," was jeered by New York Giants fan who viewed her relationship with quarterback Tony Romo as a jinx, and was slammed by PETA for wearing a shirt that said "Real Girls Eat Meat."

She was also booed before her performance at the Country Thunder Festival this past summer, after which she told the crowd, "I don't know what your perception is of Jessica Simpson or what tabloid you buy, but I just want you to know that I'm just a girl from Texas; I'm just like you."

Despite the poor reception from country music critics, Simpson's country music album went on to the top of the Billboard country music charts, giving Simpson her first No. 1 album.

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