COLL-E104 23120 Religion and Revolutions (Cipa) (S &
H) (3 cr.)
This course raises the central questions concerning the struggle
between the received dogma of religion, and freedom of thought and
conscience by focusing on issues such as:
Among the questions we will be dealing with are: Is it possible to
have a “secular” world? Is it still possible to have a
unified “religious” vision? What is the relationship of “religion”
to a “secular” state or to a “secular” public? How can religious
traditions relate to each other, in a constructive and creative
fashion, without descending into violence, at a time when they are
obliged to come into closer and more intimate relations with each
other than ever before? What is the relationship between religion
and revolution? Is religion on the way out, or is it on the way in?
What contributes to the phenomenal rise in fundamentalist commitment
in so many places? Are there exceptions? Are we condemned to have a
Star Wars like “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West?
- views of the 18th century on Man, religion, and reason;
- efforts of the 19th century thinkers like Marx, Comte, Durkheim,
Weber to change society in a more “rational” direction;
- role of the French Revolution in bringing down the traditional
underpinnings of European society;
- Russian Revolution and the development of the Marxist position
- The Turkish secularist revolution and the destruction of the
- India and Sri Lanka: Hinduism and Buddhism;
- Iranian Civilization and Iranian Revolution;
- Huntington’s concept of the “Clash of Civilizations”.
The midterm exam is mandatory, but will not detract from the final
grade. A good midterm exam will only enhance the final grade. You
are also required to write a Research Paper (10-12 pages) on a topic
of interest in the course, concentrating on subjects or regions of
your choice. Finally, the “Final” consists of three or four essays
to be chosen out of about ten or twelve.