Jun 20, 2018  
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

SYE 4011 - Religion and Secular Society

Hours: 4
In this course we will discuss the apparent tension between religion and a secular or scientific world view. We will focus on three key themes. First, we will discuss recent atheist criticisms of religious belief from the new “brights” movement. Then we will turn our attention to the question of the role of personal religious belief in public life, and attempt to answer questions like the following: Is it appropriate to support public policies that are based in religious beliefs that aren’t shared by all members of a society? How should we understand restrictions on the establishment of religion found, for instance, in the United States constitution? How can we best organize a religiously diverse society? Finally, we will look at the global level and the interactions between secular and religious states. Here we will try to come to a better understanding of the diversity of religious practices and customs, and attempt to come up with a set of policies that might help us guide the interactions between states and cultures with diverse religious practices and beliefs.