HDS 3353

Religion, Society and Governance

Jocelyne Cesari


Heaven on Earth?: Exploring Religious Freedom and Governance for Islam and Christianity in Europe and in the United States. In this course, we will investigate the relationship between modernization, politics, and religion in western democracies. We will systematically analyze the status of religion within the modern nation—states through several case studies both diachronically and synchronically. We will look into different case studies (France, Germany, Spain, the USA) that illustrate the different conceptions of secularism and different political recognition of freedom of religion. We will expand our discussion by analyzing if, why and how Islam is a challenge to secular democracies by addressing different crises from the Rushdie Affair to the cartoon crisis. We will particularly focus on human rights, freedom of speech, and women status. Finally, we will also take into account the influence of transnational religious and secular movements on the debate of freedom of religion and tolerance in Europe and the United States.

Enrollment Limited: No
Open to BTI Students: Yes


0.50 credits
Spring 2015
Thurs 12pm-2pm
Course location to be announced.

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • Islamic Studies
  • Religion, Ethics, and Politics
MDiv Distribution Category/ies
  • Islam
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry
  • Public Leadership, Community Organizing, and Planning
  • Religious Education and Spiritual Development
Language Course Designation(s) None