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Cornell University    
 
    
 
  Nov 24, 2017
 
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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ANTHR 4456 - [Secularism and Political Theology]

(crosslisted) JWST 4456 , RELST 4456  
(HA-AS)      
Fall. Next offered 2018-2019. 4 credits. Student option grading.

Co-meets with ANTHR 7456 /JWST 7456 .

J. Boyarin.

This seminar will examine the concepts of secularism and political theology, and along with them the notion of religion itself.   Our readings—which include theoretical and historical overviews, as well as case studies—will allow us to examine several key questions.  Among them are: Does secularism have a substantive content, or is it merely what fills the void where religious traditions retreat? Is secularism a specifically Western project, or are secularisms produced independently in different parts of the world? Does greater secularism lead to increased tolerance? What is the relation between nationalism, statism, and the ideologies usually associated with religion or “theology?”  Is a secular state really possible? How will our notions of “religion” change after these careful considerations of religion’s constitutive outside?



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