This course has two central objectives: (1) to provide students with an understanding of the evolving role of religion in Latin American politics, with a primary emphasis on the role of Catholicism and the Catholic Church from the period of the Second Vatican Council until the present; and (2) to provide students an opportunity to reflect on the normative questions of how religious beliefs and religious institutions should affect politics and of how different political systems and state policies should affect the practice of religion. The major themes, to be examined through both Catholic and non-Catholic perspectives, include the institutional relationship between the Catholic Church and the state, the different political expressions of Catholicism (from those inspired by Liberation Theology to supporters of Christian Democratic or Conservative political parties), the persecution of the Church under certain authoritarian regimes and the Catholic response, the rise of religious and political pluralism, and the role of religion in contemporary politics and public policy.
CORE 3851 (DIPL 3851)
Religion, Law and War
This course will examine wars of religion and religious views of war. We are living through an era fraught with religious warfare – wars animated by religious conflict and wars that use religious abuse as weapons to demoralize and subdue the enemy. The course will focus on three major religious traditions (Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism) and set in dialogue their respective views of war, assess their contributions to the contemporary laws of war, and examine particular historical episodes of religious conflict – as well as contrary episodes of religious toleration.