Politics and Religion

Course Material 2020/21

This is a course to be taught for the first time in 2020. Politics and Religion begins by introducing students to a range of social science approaches to the study of religion in relation to institutional formation and change, empire, state power and authority, legitimacy and resistance, nationalism, democracy, and the secular. From late Michaelmas and throughout Lent, students may select two out of four modules, which explore these themes in a range of contexts: the development of ideas of 'Islamic' states (Module 1); religion and politics in Europe (Module 2) and the United States (Module 4); Islam and international relations (Module 3).

These introductory readings serve as a guide for those considering this course and should be consulted before choosing the course (all available online):

  • Jose Casanova, "The secular and secularisms," Social Research, 76(4) 2009, 1049-1066.
  • Eric Hobsbawm, "Introduction: Inventing Traditions," in E. Hobsbawm & T. Ranger (Eds.), The Invention of Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1983.
  • Elizabeth Hurd, “The Political Authority of Secularism in International Relations.” European Journal of International Relations 10, no. 2 (June 2004): 235-262.