• Academic Credits: 3
  • Focus area for the major: Theoretical Approaches to Politics
  • Course for Minor: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • 01-790-472_01_Religion_and_politics_Syllabus_fall_2020.pdf
  • Syllabus Disclaimer: The information on this syllabus is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (Sakai, Canvas, etc.) on the first day of class.

Course Description:

The last 40 years have seen an extensive religious revival that challenged the Enlightenment assumption that religion is destined to fade in the face of reason and rising modernity. Observers often note the revival in the United States (note the influence of the “Religious Right” in the Republican Party, or in the Arab world (note political Islam and radical Islamist terrorism), but the evidence suggests more that the revival is worldwide. Buddhism and Hinduism – both inherently peaceful religions – inspire political violence in Burma and India, for example. The Enlightenment promised to strip the world of belief and superstition and put in its place rationality and common humanity, but this promise has come close to fruition only in western Europe. Europe – Western Europe at least, has seen the rise of a vibrant secular society with only vestigial religious influence in public life. Rather than the wave of the future, however, this has could be seen as more of an aberration than the likely trajectory for the American continents, Africa, and Asia. Even in Europe, religion is again rearing its head. In the words of a recent book, “God is Back.”