ICL: RELIGION AND/OR POLITICS - 4 Sessions
RELIGION AND/OR POLITICS by Dr. Dickman
4 Sessions, Monday and Wednesday, July 8, 10, 15, 17, 1:10 pm ? 3:10 pm
Many people do not seem to see eye to eye, neither politically nor religiously. Is there really a difference? Isn?t religion just a function of politics, or just serving state interests? Think of missionaries serving empires. Are some religions more political than others? Think of all the Tennessee legislators trying to ?ban? Shariah law?because they perceive Islam as intrinsically political. Surely the wise spiritual traditions of the far East are ?above? politics, right? Consider the Dalai Lama?s diplomacy concerning how to speak about W?s Iraq invasion, as ?violent compassion.? How is it possible that the ?moral majority? of evangelical Christians could nominate and vote for Trump given what we know about him? What explains the use of religion in history to support moral outrages like female circumcision or slavery? In this discussion-based course, we will examine the broad categories of ?religion? and ?politics,? with an aim at questioning assumptions we might make about them, especially some ideas people may have about being able to separate them. We will look at daily examples as case studies where it may seem there are interactions between the two, and other examples where it may seem like religions are subordinated to politics (or the other way around!). Let?s have fun, and not get too angry!
Nathan Eric Dickman (PhD, The University of Iowa) is an associate professor of philosophy and religious studies at Young Harris College. He researches and teaches about global social justice issues in ethics and religions.