RELIGION 305 - Religion and Violence in the Secular World
Fall 2020, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Religion (RELIGION)
Department: LSA Studies in Religion
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This course will explore the relationship between violence and religion by looking at recent instances of conflict between secular states and religious traditions. Given that recent events have brought the debate about the relationship between religion and violence into the foreground of public debate students will be asked to think about whether religions justify and cause violence or whether they are more appropriately seen as forces for peace and tolerance? In the context of secular modernity, religion has been represented by some as a primary cause of violence, social division and war, whilst others have argued that this is a distortion of the "true" significance of religion, which when properly followed promotes peace, harmony, goodwill and social cohesion. Coinciding with the global re-surfacing of religious violence is the work of the media that can be seen both as a key agent in transforming the public’s reception of the relationship between religion and violence, and in many ways affecting the course of national and international politics itself. Specific themes for discussion may include but are not limited to: 9/11 and the War on Terrorism; the nature of violence in Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist traditions; the return of religion and the crisis of secularism.

Course Requirements:

Attendance and Participation: 10%; Quiz (x3): 30%; Paper (x3): 60%

Intended Audience:

Undergraduates in all fields, and especially those interested in Religion, Asian Studies, Southeast Asia, and History.

Class Format:

As a DC (Distance due to COVID) course, all aspects of this course will be fully compatible with remote online learning, however, students will need to be available for virtual class meetings at their scheduled time.


RELIGION 305 - Religion and Violence in the Secular World
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 8:30AM - 10:00AM
Partial Term 8/31/20 - 12/10/20

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