POS-3070 Terrorism, Religion, and the Nation-State

3 credits

Prerequisite: None.

This course will offer a rapid background in the histories and theologies of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism – the four religions in the territories of which terrorism seems to be endemic and which regions (primarily the Middle East and India) have been divided into a myriad of artificial states. The instructor will explain the effect of reactions to the encroaching storm of modernity with its accompanying tidal waves of democracy and capitalism, and also give a brief explanation of the histories of the various nation states in the regions above. Different interpretations of "terrorism" will also be discussed. Is terrorism a tool and a weapon of war on par with guns and fighter-bombers? Is it anarchism? Nihilism? Cold-blooded murder? Is it a romantic throwback to some romantic notion of what some peoples' ancestors used to do? What exactly? The students and professor will debate together the effect of reactions to the encroaching storm of modernity with the accompanying tidal waves of capitalism, democracy, innumerable new religions sects and the loosening-up of the authoritarian patriarchal and moral systems. Meets Part III of the GECC.