March 28, 2023
Since September 11, 2001, the relationship between religion and violence has become a central topic of discussion in the study of religion and contemporary politics. This course is designed to introduce students to the identification, evaluation, and critical analysis of different theoretical approaches to the study of religion and violence as well as the contemporary practices, ideologies and imagery that deploy violence and non-violence. Although this course focuses on the history of violence in Judaism and Christianity, course materials survey a range of theoretical approaches to the study of the relationship between religion and violence, including Rene Girard, Walter Burkert, and William Cavanaugh as well as case studies in contemporary politics. Topics will also include “Just War” theory, religious terrorism, animal/blood sacrifice, and martyrdom.