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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Religious Studies (RL ST)

RL ST 190 (GH;IL) (J ST 190, HIST 190) Religion and Conflict (3) Critical examination of the role religion has played in human conflict.

RL ST (J ST/HIST) 190 Religion and Conflict (3)
(GH;IL)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

The role of religion in human conflict has long been debated. Is religion inherently divisive, or has it been manipulated for divisive ends? Is religion a source of conflict, of peace, or of both? Why do religious adherents often claim their scriptures teach harmony and compassion, yet still find religious justification for opposition, aggression, and even war in those very scriptures? Why is it that sometimes it is members of the same religion, but different sects or denominations, who are the most confrontational to each other?

This course introduces students to a critical examination of the negative, positive, or ambiguous roles religion has played in conflict and conflict resolution. After analyzing various theories about the relationship between religion and conflict, we will look at the possible foundations for religious conflict, such as perceptions of religious difference or constructs of identity in society, the scapegoating of the religious Other, and issues of religious conflict brought on by colonialism in the past and by increased globalization in the present. We will also explore the approaches that some religious traditions have had to conflict resolution. Finally, we will examine specific cases of religious conflict in antiquity as well as the modern world from across the globe in order to discern patterns, detect commonalities and differences, and ultimately to better understand the complicated world in which we live.


General Education: GH
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: Other Cultures and Humanities
Effective: Summer 2015

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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