Religion, State and Society

Course Name : Religion, State and Society
Course Code : SPSAG6224
Units : 3

As scholars have noted the resurgence of religion in many parts of the world, there has been renewed interest in understanding the relationship between religion and politics. Secularism, as the main paradigm for understanding the relation between religion, state and society, is being re-thought. Works on “rethinking secularism” have appeared in diverse disciplines such as political science, international relations, sociology, anthropology and religious studies. This course starts with a study of the trend. The main issues covered include: (i) post-secularization conceptual debates about religion-state relations (liberalism, its critiques, and multiculturalism); (ii) case studies of models of religion-state relations in Western, Asian, and more specifically Muslim countries; and (iii) case studies of particular topics such as religious freedom, gender issues and multiculturalism, shari’a,and religious defamation / blasphemy. Students will write a major paper, in addition to weekly response papers and presentations.