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Course module: 800828-B-6
800828-B-6
Debate on Religion in Europe
Course info
Course module800828-B-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences; TSH: Department of Culture Studies; Culture Studies;
Is part of
B Culture Studies
PM Ritual in Society
Convenant TSH
Contact persondr. A.C.J. de Ruiter
Lecturer(s)
Lecturer
dr. M.J.M. Hoondert
Other course modules lecturer
Lecturer
dr. A.C.J. de Ruiter
Other course modules lecturer
Coordinator course
dr. A.C.J. de Ruiter
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2019
Starting block
SM 2
Course mode
Full-time
Remarks-
Registration openfrom 15/01/2020 up to and including 21/08/2020
Aims
The position of religion in society is increasingly under debate. For many, religion is or should be a private issue, linked to the individual. However, religion is visible in the public domain, through rituals, buildings, clothing, material culture, political parties with a religious background, debates on ethical issues etc.  The presence of religion in the public domain leads, in many cases, to fierce debates. In this course, we will explore and analyze these debates. We will focus on debates related to Christianity and Islam. Area of research is the public domain of Europe, visible in a diversity of media, both offline and online. Next to an exploration of recurrent themes in the debates on Christianity and Islam, students are challenged to come up with topical issues, related to their own everyday environment. 
Content
Knowledge: after following this course:
  1. the student has insight in the secularization thesis and the critiques on this thesis.
  2. the student is able to critically analyze debates regarding the separation of religion and state, religion and violence, religion and ethics, and civil religion.
 
Skills: after following this course the student is able to:
  1. write an academic paper regarding an religious issue in the public domain
  2. debate religious issues in the public domain from a diversity of perspectives
 
Character building: through this course the student learns to debate on religious issues in the public domain and to place oneself in the position of ‘the other’. 


 
Task / activity study load
Sessions (14 x 2) 28
Readings (11 x 4) 44
Assignments (3 x 2) 6
Final paper 90
Total 168
 
Date Topic Literature Assignment
1. Monday 27 August 2018 (MH) Introduction to the course
The secularization thesis
Case: The Passion
  --
2. Monday 3 September (JJdR) Secularization and Islam Boender, W. & Ruiter, J.J. de (2018). ‘The imam as an organic public intellectual. The case of Yassin Elforkani in the Netherlands’, in: M. Hashas, J.J. de Ruiter & N. Valdemar Vinding (eds.). Imams in Western Europe. Developments, Transformations, and Institutional Challenges. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 163-182.
 
Mandatory reading:
SCP, De religieuze beleving van moslims in Nederland (juni 2018).
 
3. Monday 10 September (JJdR) Religion, violence and blasphemy: introduction and theory ‘The Anatomy of the Myth’, chapter in: W.T. Cavanaugh (2009), The Myth of Religious Violence. Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict. Oxford University Press, 15-56.  
4. Monday 17 September (JJdR) Religion, violence and blasphemy: Islam V. Avanesi & J.J. de Ruiter (n.y.). Is Islamic State Islamic?  
5. Monday 24 September (MH) Religion, violence and blasphemy: Christianity
 
Blasphemy case: Madonna and/or Lady Gaga
Articles in the Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence (online available):
L. Steffen, Religion and violence in Christian traditions.
R. Hassner, Conflicts of sacred ground.
 
6. Monday 1 October (MH) The separation of church and state: Europe F. de Beaufort e.a. (eds.), Separation of Church and State in Europe. Brussels 2008, 1-28.
A. Amin, Multi-ethnicity and the idea of Europe. Theory, Culture & Society 21 (2) (2004), 1-24. 
S.V. Monsma & J.C. Soper, The Challenge of Pluralism. Church and State in Five Democracies. New York 2009. Chapter 1: Introduction (pp 1-14) and chapter 3: The Netherlands (pp. 51-92). 
Assignment 1: explore the legal and the actual structures regarding the separation of church and state in your home country. Answer the following two questions:
  1. Is there a separation of church and state in your home country? If yes, how is it regulated?
  2. How do you evaluate the situation in your home country regarding this issue?
7. Monday 8 October (JJdR) The separation of church and state: Islam Mohammed Hashas, Jan Jaap de Ruiter, Niels Valdemar Vinding, & Khalid Hajji (2018). ‘Imams in Western Europe: Developments, transformation, and institutional challenges, Introduction’, in: M. Hashas, J.J. de Ruiter & N. Valdemar Vinding (eds.). Imams in Western Europe. Developments, Transformations, and Institutional Challenges.. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 17-36.  
8. Monday 22 October (MH & JJdR) Presentations   Assignment 2: the students present a religious issue from their own everyday environment.
9. Monday 29 October (JJdR) Religion and ethics: Islam J. Auda (2018). ‘Rethinking Islamic law for Europe. The concept of the Land of Islam’in: M. Hashas, J.J. de Ruiter & N. Valdemar Vinding (eds.). Imams in Western Europe. Developments, Transformations, and Institutional Challenges.. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press55-72.  
10. Monday 5 November (MH) Religion and ethics: euthanasia and ‘completed life’ TBA  
11. Monday 12 November (MH) Civil religion R. Bellah, Civil religion.
C. Bell (1997), Ritual. Perspectives and dimensions. New York / Oxford: Oxford University Press, 128-135 (political rituals).
P. Lüchau, Toward a contextualized concept of civil religion, in Social compass 56/3 (2009) 371-386.
Assignment 3: Write a short paper (500-800 words) answering the question: Does a civil religion exist in your home country? If not, why not? If it does, how does it look like?
 
12. Monday 19 November (JJdR) Civil religion: Islam Literature same as lecture 11.  
13. Monday 26 November How to write an academic paper?
A topic presented in session 8
--  
14. Monday 3 December The topics for the final paper.
A topic presented in session 8
-- The students present the topics for the final paper and give each other peer feedback. 
 
 
Course available for exchange students
Bachelor level
Timetable information
Debate on Religion in Europe
Required materials
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Recommended materials
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Tests
Final Result

Paper 80%

Presentation 20%

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