10342 Religion, State and Politics 1

Credits: 6 advanced credits in Political Science

Prerequisites: 36 credits, including Government and Politics in Israel, and one of the following: Democracies and Dictatorships: Comparative Politics,2 or Introduction to Sociology or Introduction to the Modern History of the Middle East. Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library.

Recommended: Trends in Israeli Society, The Modern Middle East, Democratic Regimes

The course is based on two readers: one on general aspects of religion, state and politics and the other on religion, state and politics in the Middle East and in Israel, edited by Emanuel Gutmann, Benyamin Neuberger, and Moshe Berent.

The course examines the importance of religion in contemporary society, state and politics. Religion plays an important role in shaping political regimes, in political culture and in patterns of political behavior. Religious establishments and communities often clash with their opponents in the political arena. Religion also provides a symbol of identification and can mobilize large numbers of people for political goals.

The first part of the course deals with general and theoretical facets of religion, state and politics, with an emphasis on the democratic countries in Europe and North America. The concepts and theories developed in the first part of the course are then applied to the Muslim Middle East and Israel.

Topics: Historical and theoretical overview; Religiosity, secularism, fundamentalism; Religion and democracy; Civil religion and political religion; Religion and nationalism; Religion, conflicts and revolutions; Religion, church and state; Religious political parties, movements and organizations; Religious voting; Religion and public policy; Religion, state and politics in the Middle East and in Israel.

1Students may write a seminar paper in this course, although it is not required.

2or Democracies and Dictatorships: Ideas, Contexts, Regimes (10660, 3 cr.) which is no longer offered.