REL 74.10 Religion and Politics in the Ancient and Medieval World
This course provides an advanced introduction to the relationship between religion and politics in the ancient and medieval worlds, with particular attention to the Western tradition. We focus on Christianity, most centrally, while considering its relation to Ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman religions at specific moments. The course offers students with a basic historical and theoretical framework for thinking about the tensions and possibilities that emerge in the encounter between religious and political thought, institutions, and communities in these periods. This course challenges the assumption that religion and politics are self-evident and clearly distinct realms. Instead, we examine the ways that the boundaries between religion and politics have been continually blurred throughout history and across communities and traditions, and consider how “religion” and “politics” are interdependent and mutually reinforcing categories of thought and practice.
Distributive and/or World Culture
Offered17S, 18S: 10A