This course will engage with contemporary debates on religion and politics in the international context in our post-9/11 world, and will do so comparatively across a wide range of contexts.
The emphasis will be on understanding the evolving role transnational religion has played in the past three decades, where new global networks have emerged as central global actors. We will focus empirically on the rise of radical reformist Islam and evangelical Christianity, the two most dramatically successful forms of religiosity around the world today. We will study the implications for the foreign policies of key nation-states, as well as the forces that have contributed to the prevalence of contestatory religious politics and networks as new and poorly understood global actors. International religious freedom, human rights, the role of media and mediation, the place of religious or theological doctrines or imaginaries in constructing and motivating a range of political goals, many involving the use of violence. We will focus as well on the global spread of extremist forms of religious politics, conspiracy thinking, new online communities that lead to dangerous political outcomes, such as ‘QAnon’ and ‘Plandemic’. Many of the cases will focus on the non-Western world, especially the Middle East and Africa.(Given by the Departments of Political Science and Religion)