CC 300 FX: Religion and Politics in Eastern Europe

3 Credits – Cross-listed with THEO 339 AX
TR 8:30-9:45 am – Professor Denysenko

Fulfills upper-level THEO requirement.

This course examines the complicated dynamics of religion and politics in Eastern Europe. Problematic issues such as nationalism, antisemitism, persecution of religious minorities, state-sanctioned violence in the name of religion and/or political ideology, controversial legislation, and violations of human rights are among the central topics for discussion and analysis. Regionally, the course surveys case studies in countries and regions such as Russia, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, and Central Asia among others. A survey of significant historical antecedents foregrounds the course schedule. Students are introduced to transhistorical issues such as Byzantine symphonia, Russian ideological conceptualizations of autocracy and Orthodoxy, the Ottoman millet system, and the legacy of significant historical events in shaping religious polices. The schedule continues by analyzing the intersection of religion and politics through case studies during the period of imperial collapse, the rise of the nation-state, the Soviet interlude, and the search for identity in the post-Soviet era. Information literacy is a unique learning objective of this course, especially with regards to some of the most recent controversial cases involving accusations of state interference in religious policy, and the assignment of ownership of community properties. The course is conducted as a seminar discussion. Assessments include exams, and a research paper and presentation.

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