Religion in Society

Course Code: HUMA 3001

Academic Year: 2023-2024

Is religion a force for good or for evil in society? Does it promote peace, or is it more often a catalyst for warfare and violence? The issue has been hotly contested for centuries and seems even more urgent in our current epoch of terrorism and vocal fundamentalism. The debate swirls around us and touches on countless issues, including cults, abortion, terrorism, religious wars and persecution, religious freedoms and liberation and, of course, creationism vs. evolution. In fact, recent and very popular 'new atheists' have proclaimed religion as one of the world's great evils. Yet others have argued that religion historically, and currently, is one of the main forces for social cohesion and the promotion of non-violence. This course puts religion 'on trial,' examining evidence on both sides and drawing on evolution, history, sociology, psychology and politics. And while students may reach no decisive conclusion on these issues, they will be better equipped to critically engage in this utterly inescapable conversation.