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Religion and History

HIST 323
Fall 2012
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: RELI 298
Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory

Religion and history share a great deal. Both seek to make human actions and events over time comprehensible. Both attempt to construct total cosmologies that connect past, present, and future; the profane and the sacred; the immanent and the transcendent. And both use narrative strategies to build arguments about the meaning of historical change. One of the most dominant narratives of modernity has been the narrative of secularization--the conviction that as the world became modern, religion would die out as a force of public, and perhaps even private, life. The contemporary return of religion as a global force has brought into question many of the foundational assumptions of modernity--namely, that modernization and secularization are twin processes that rationalize and disenchant the world and create the modern (secular) subject. This course will examine scholarship in the social sciences in general, and history in particular, with the goal of deepening students' appreciation of the difficulties of studying religion in a scholarly way. We will analyze the assumptions that guided the secularization narrative and examine how the relationship between the religious and the secular has shaped the history of modernity. Readings will range in topics and approaches but will all engage the question of what history can bring to our understanding of religion.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (HIST)(RELI)(SISP-Reli Conc)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on APR-20-2014
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