POLS3225 Religion and Politics (3 units)
- Medium of Instruction:
This course initiates students into the complex interplay between religion and politics. It takes religions as social facts whose theological claims may or may not be factually true or verifiable, but the political consequences of which are nonetheless real and observable. From electoral campaigns to the divergent views on proper church-state relations, from domestic political institutions to fault lines in international politics, major religious traditions have all left their marks in them and are laying new tracks. This course explores some of these phenomena and provides students with theoretical and conceptual tools to analyse them. It guides the exploration and comparison of political worldviews proffered by, inter alia, the monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – through the reading of selected scriptures and other primary and secondary sources. The political energies released by secularisation, a process that affects all religious communities to varying degrees, are also examined in conjunction with the process of political modernisation. The ultimate goal is to prepare students for a multi-directional world in which religious traditions, secularization and de-secularization co-exist as forces and processes to be harnessed for the common good.
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