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THE 549 Religion, Violence, and Terrorism

Religiously-motivated violence constitutes one of the most potent social/economic/political forces in the twenty-first century. This course probes the roots and recent instances of violence and terrorism in the name of religious convictions and traditions. Through rigorous investigation of both primary and secondary texts, it provides a thorough presentation of the theological roots of religious violence and its contemporary manifestations. The course unfolds in three parts: 1) the roots of religious violence: scripture, sacrifice and ancient conquest; 2) cosmic struggle: the violence of apocalypticism then and now; and 3) contemporary manifestations: sexism and racism; recent religious wars and genocides; and terrorism.