SOC 508 Religion and Politics
This course examines the interaction of religious and political authorities, discourses, and institutions through historical, comparative, and normative perspectives. We will start our discussion with a survey of the role of religion in the formation of modern political institutions and identities, including the modern state, long-distance and national social movements, welfare regimes, and national identities. We will then investigate various aspects of religious politics, focusing in particular on religious movements and violence, the rise and transformation of religious parties, secularism as political ideology and movement and the relationship between religious politics and democracy. The course will conclude with a review of recent debates in political theory on the legitimate place of religion in public life and in the political sphere. In the course of the semester, we will discuss empirical cases drawn from Europe, the U.S., the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.