Political Science | Religion, Politics & Public Policy
Y249 | 25548 | McGinnis


Faith-based organizations of many kinds participate in domestic and
international politics, in distinct and often contradictory ways.
Since 9/11 public attention has focused on religionís role in
justifying terrorism, but this course highlights its more subtle and
substantial long-term effects on U.S. public policy and global
politics. Domestically we will examine the array of faith-based
organizations involved in worship, public service, and political
advocacy. Internationally a similar range of organizations engage in
the delivery of humanitarian aid and development assistance, peace-
building and advocacy on behalf of human rights for oppressed and
marginalized peoples, and missionary work. Christianity continues to
grow world-wide, especially in the Global South, and its political
complexion changes as a consequence of this expansion. Christian
proselytism and conversion have proven especially controversial in
Russia, China, India, and the Islamic world. Students will read
reports by the U.S. government and human rights organizations
concerning violations of religious liberty in particular countries
and prepare a one-page overview of these controversies for use in
general class discussion. There will also be midterm and final
exams, as well as in-class exercises. A few articles will be
available in electronic format, but most readings will be taken from
the following required textbooks: Nancy Ammerman, Pillars of Faith:
American Congregations and Their Partners, Philip Jenkins, The Next
Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, and Allen Hertzke,
Freeing Godís Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human
Rights.