Religion is a powerful social, economic, and political force across the globe. Its formal authorities and informal influences have changed over time and across space and traditions. Yet even where regular religious practice has become less common, religion remains a means of constructing communities, be it a diaspora, a unique nation within a state, or state-wide national identity or nationalism. Religion intersects with race, gender, and other important social identities, and it overlaps with organized political power from the grassroots to the government. Human relationships with the divine have influenced everyday norms and values, have marked key moments in our life cycle, and have provided material and social psychological resources for communities. In this course, we will examine the political relationships between religion and community from a variety of social scientific perspectives. As a core part of this inquiry, you will conduct an original research paper on a topic of your choice relating to religion, politics, and community. We will work through each step of the scientific method over the course of the semester-using religion and community as a lens and set of thematic examples-and hold guided workshops to facilitate your research process.
Prereq: L32 263 OR L32 363 OR department approved equivalent
Course Attributes: EN S; AS SSC