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Religious Contacts and Conflicts

Coordinator: P. van der Velde
Prerequisites and accessibility: https://www.ru.nl/courseguides/fftr/bachelor-pps/access-pps-courses-modules/
Period: Semester 1, period 1 and 2


Religion plays a crucially important role in the lives of billions of people every day. Even in the few regions on earth where its influence seems to be waning, religion continues to factor into cultural and political discourses. From individuals to communities to larger political entities, the varieties of religious expression have an impact on society in ways big and small, particularly as they come into contact with competing worldviews. In this module, we will study several prominent religious traditions with special attention to how they interact with each other and in so doing shape the world around them. Arguably, in the public discourse the most infamous example of religion's societal impact has to do with violence, which in recent years has come to dominate the media coverage and public perception of religion. This module, therefore, carefully considers religious contacts in a variety of social and political contexts with a particular focus on the ways that such contacts have contributed to conflict. The study of religous contacts and conflicts allows for elaboration on the role of religion within political and societal processes more broadly.