REL 104 Religious Conflict and Cooperation

Last offered Fall 2013

Violent conflicts throughout the world are animated by religious rhetoric, driven by religious actors, and sanctioned by religious authorities. At the same time, religious and "interfaith" organizations are often prominent participants in peace advocacy and conflict resolution. What are the varieties of religious involvement in war and peace? What can we learn about "religion" from religious conflicts and cooperative initiatives? Does the modern nation-state increase the likelihood of religious conflict? Will 21st century globalization support more or less conflict and/or cooperation? We will investigate these questions through contemporary case studies including: conflicts between Jews and Muslims in Israel/Palestine, Hindus and Buddhists in Sri Lanka, and Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. We will also look at the religious militancy of Al Qaeda, the Lord¿s Resistance Army in Uganda, and other groups. And we will consider religious efforts to end these conflicts peacefully and delegitimize militant groups. In each case, we will see how competition for control over what counts as "Judaism," "Hinduism," "religion," "religious," and so forth is central to these conflicts and to the goals of those who seek to resolve them. Along with primary and secondary sources related to each case study, we will read theoretical works by Mark Juergensmeyer, Samuel Huntington, Scott Appleby, Bruce Lincoln, Peter van der Veer, Olivier Roy, Ananda Abeysekara, Talal Asad, Tomoko Masuzawa, and others.
Class Format: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: two short papers, an in-class mid-term exam, and a final paper or project
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: first-year students and potential Religion majors
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes: Gateway course
Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes:
Enrollment Limit: none
Expected Enrollment: 30
Class Number: 1644
REL 104 LEC Religious Conflict/Cooperation Division 2: Social Studies Jeffrey I. Israel
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