PSC300.3 Contemporary Politics and the Return of Religion: A Global Perspective (Spring)

Modernity and the “age of reason” was characterized by the secularization of the socio-political space, and the gradual decline of the influence of religion in daily life. However, contemporary political events have forcefully and sometimes dramatically marked a reversal of this trend: religion has returned and its influence has played an increasingly crucial role in the public sphere. This has had several consequences for the shape and nature of democratic public spheres and for international politics, notably for the role it has played and in violent conflicts. Why has religion returned with such a vengeance? Why did secularization fail? What are the implications of this for contemporary politics? What does a post-secular political framework look like? To explore these questions, we will draw from a variety of disciplines, including political science, sociology, and international relations. You will gain a theoretical basis to discuss the significance of the return of religion in diverse geo-political and cultural contexts.

Department: Political Science

Location: Florence

Semester: Spring

Credits: 3