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Political Violence in the Name of God: Comparing Islam and Christianity or return to Course Catalog Search

HDS 3354 – Section 01   

Harvard Divinity SchoolJocelyne Cesari
TermDay and TimeLocation
Fall 2017  (show academic calendar)M   12:00 p.m. - 1:59 p.m.Divinity 211 (HDS)
4  (show credit conversion for other schools)
Credit Level

Everywhere we witness greater tensions and confrontations between religions and the secular principles of the international system. This course will address the following questions: Has secular nationalism failed? Why is religion seen as a legitimate alternative form of politics nationally and internationally? Is there a proclivity to violence from religious extremists? This course will assess the influence of religion on political violence at both the domestic and international level by looking at the theories of war in Islam and Christianity and their resonance with current conflicts in Iraq, Syria, sub Saharian `Africa and South East Asia. Each session will present the evolution of theological positions in different political contexts as well as the ways secular conflicts tend to become sacralized. It will analyze the multifaceted calls to Jihad from Hezbollah or Hamas to ISIS. It will compare religious revolution and religious nationalisms from a Christian and Muslim perspectives.

Cross Registration
Eligible for cross-registration
With permission of instructor/subject to availability

MIT students please cross register from MIT's Add/Drop application.