NES 2676 - Holy War, Crusade, and Jihad from Antiquity to Present
(crosslisted) JWST 2676 , MEDVL 2676 , RELST 2676
(GHB) (HA-AS) (CU-ITL)
Spring. 3 credits. Student option grading.
Articulating and elaborating religious justifications for war is a cultural practice unique to the three monotheistic traditions and their respective textual communities. This notion and its practice have had profound historical consequences in the past that extend to and inform present-day global socio-political conflicts. The first part of this course will examine the origins of the concept of holy war, crusade and jihad and trace their cultural histories. The second part of the course will be devoted to discussing the ways in which contemporary discourses such as a “clash of civilizations,” “the Evil Empire,” “The Great Satan,” and the “Axis of Evil” draw upon these respective cultural histories and explicitly or implicitly positing political conflict as a “battle for God.”
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