Section Description Provided by Instructor
Secularization has played an important role in the road to modernization propelled by the Enlightenment. Since the dawn of the new millennium, however, religion has reemerged as a contentious social and political public issue both domestically and internationally. The de-privatization and the trans-nationalization of religion have posed major challenges to the traditional models embedded in the principles deriving from Peace of Westphalia through which democracies have managed the relationship between religion and the state. The crisis surrounding the nation state has positioned religions to become at once major sources of integration of the polity as well as fomenters of vexing challenges against major tenets of the polity’s predominant culture. An important consequence of this trend is a shift in emphasis from the transcendent nature of religion to its cultural and identitarian dimensions. This course will bring together prominent speakers from many countries, disciplines, religious traditions, and constitutional cultures to present papers addressing various salient conflicts and challenges posed by the state of affairs described above, and, where pertinent, to suggest possible avenues towards improvements and solutions in the context of contemporary religiously pluralistic, multicultural, multi-ethnic, and ideologically divided constitutional democracies. In a small number of non-speaker sessions, students will read and discuss background materials on related themes.
Method of Evaluation
J.D. Writing Credit
Minor (automatic), Major (only upon consultation)