RESA3201 – Bachelor Thesis: Religion and Politics in Global Perspective
Schedule, syllabus and examination date
Religion and politics are often thought of as two fields of human activity, which are best kept separate in modern, liberal societies. Yet at the same time – for better or worse, to a greater or lesser extent – religion and politics interact extensively in the modern world. This course aims to explore those interactions.
We will begin on a conceptual level: What is politics? What is the function of politics? What types of political systems exist?
After addressing these questions, we will explore why and how religion is becoming increasingly relevant for politics and how religions can contribute to public debates. Religious interest groups and institutions may support specific policies, voice their positions in public debates, and seek to influence political decision-making processes.
At the same time, we will see that national politics can have a significant impact on the religious landscape of their country. We will study the “politics of religion” by addressing different cases and comparing the effect of different state-religion relationships.
Importantly, religions also offer spiritual and ritual resources to cope with political crises, as we will see for the case of the 22nd July 2011 terrorist attacks on Norway. Moreover, many political subjects are interrelated with religion, as the relationship between religion and migration in Norway will show.
- Conceptual understanding of politics and its function as well as of different political systems.
- Critical assessment of the rising relevance of religion in politics and its potential contribution to public debates and political decision-making.
- An overview of state-religion relationship and the ways in which politics influence religions and seek to manage religious diversity.
- Ability to think and discuss in a nuanced way changes and contestations in and between religious and political traditions, to understand where these processes come from and to discuss where they may be headed.
- Ability to examine and assess policies on religion in different parts of the world, and to discuss their influence on religious practice.
- Ability to read, systematize and critically reflect academic contributions from a variety of different disciplines.
- Ability to formulate independent research questions on the interrelationship between politics and religion.
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Formal prerequisite knowledge
- TFF1001 – Kristendommens historie
- TFF1002 – Levd religion i Norge
- TFF1003 – Etikk og religion
- TFF1004 – Hellige tekster
- TFEXFAC03 – Examen facultatum, teologivarianten
- 10 credits overlap with RESA3101 – Religion and Politics in Global Perspective
- 10 credits overlap with RESA4219 – Religion and Politics in Global Perspective
Lectures are given together with course RESA3101:
The classes are seminars and active participation is expected. The seminar consists of a total of twenty-six hours. During the seminars, there will be given short lectures to introduce new themes/subthemes and short student presentations of relevant texts. Priority is given to discussion, application and reflection exercises in relation to primary themes.
The language of this course is English.
In addition, the student will be assigned to a tutor and will be given four tutorials during the semester.
• For selected seminar meetings (approx. 6 meetings), students prepare a brief reflection note (approx. 200 words).
• A bachelor proposal (approx. 400 words) outlining the topic, research question and working plan for the bachelor thesis.
• Presentation of the bachelor proposal during a meeting.
• A peer-review of a research paper written by a student group during the course (approx. 200 words).
All the aforementioned items of the examination must be provided in English language.
Bachelor Thesis of 6000-8000 Words.
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Language of examination
The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.
Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.
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Special examination arrangements
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