CLWR 181: Inroduction to the study of religion

This is a website for CLWR 181. This section talks about what this website is about. It is an infoblurb and will say many things about the course. The rest of this is filler text until better text can be put in.

This is a website for CLWR 181. This section talks about what this website is about. It is an infoblurb and will say many things about the course. The rest of this is filler text until better text can be put in.

Links to Videos

TOPIC 1 - Cory Crawford

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TOPIC 2 - Elizabeth Collins

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TOPIC 3 - Lauren Lybarger

Module 1

paragraph about this module

Module 2: Politics as Prayer -- Understanding the Historical Relationship between Religion and State Power

This module explores the connection between religion and state power. Historically, in many societies politics was understood as fundamentally religious. Rulers were also seen as gods. Rebels, too, claimed to act as instruments of the gods. In today's world, this same understanding lies at the foundation of actions that modern religious groups undertake. The perpetrators of the attacks of September 11, the bombing of abortion clinics, the killing of Muslim worshippers in Hebron, and many other such actions see themselves as acting on behalf of the gods. They see their actions as acts of prayer.

Module 3: Secular Fundamentalism? -- How Secularization and the Secular State Can Politicize Religions

This module examine how the modern secular state can cause religions to become politicized. The roots of this phenomenon in the West lie in the history of the revolutionary reaction against religiously-backed monarchies and the secularization processes--through which states take control of religious institutions and functions--that this reaction initiated. The culmination of this phenomenon was the French Revolution at the end of the 18th Century. The European experience with secularization subsequently became an exportable model. The founders of the United States looked to European Enlightenment thinkers in working out the first amendment provisions governing church-state relations. Much later, Kemal Ataturk also would look to Europe, and France, in particular, in his effort to create the modern Republic of Turkey.

Module 4: Religion and the Arab Spring -- A Case Study of Religious Politics in the Modern Middle East

This module begins with an analysis of the "Arab Spring"--an event in which Arabs across the Middle East have risen up to demand democracy and an end to dictotorial governments. Islamic movements were not at the center of these demonstrations; however, they have reemerged in the aftermath as powerful political forces. Why is this so? The answer lies in the history of the repressive regimes and the role that the Islamic movements have played in addressing the needs of populations that have suffered from the abuses of the dictatorships.