Futurelearn
date_range Starts on March 7, 2016
event_note End date March 13, 2016
list 6 sequences
assignment Level : Introductive
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
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Key information

credit_card Free access
verified_user Free certificate
timer 24 hours in total

About the content

Understand and analyze the role of religion in conflicts and peacebuilding in present-day societies, with this free online course.

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Syllabus

Many conflicts in the world today are framed in terms of religion, but there is much discussion and confusion concerning the precise role religion plays in these conflicts. According to some, conflict and violence are inherent to religion. Others claim that religion is only the guise under which social, economic or political conflicts are fought out. The first step to solving religiously framed conflicts is understanding the role of religion in them, and that is what this free online course is about. Our point of departure is that religion means different things in different circumstances and to different (groups of) people. Therefore, the aim of this course is to show how a religiously framed conflict can be studied in the wider cultural and political contexts of these conflicts. In the course material, we will refer to various religious, cultural and political settings. In addition, we invite you to engage in some modest research activities in your own environment and compare your own findings with those of fellow students. In the first two weeks, we will discuss how the concepts of religion, conflict and violence have been understood historically and cross-culturally, and address the question of how they are linked. This will enable you to move beyond thinking about religion as either an unavoidable cause for conflicts or merely an excuse to mask more mundane conflicts of interest. The third week focuses on the question of why religious conflicts have appeared to increase in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. During the fourth week, we will analyze case studies like conflicts over abortion policies in the United States and the rise of IS in the Middle East. In week five, we will shift our attention to the role of religion in peace building and reconciliation. The course concludes with an assignment in which you will apply your newly acquired analytical tools to write a briefing paper on the role of religion in a specific conflict situation of your own choice. After completing this course, you will have acquired the knowledge and analytical skills to develop critical insights into one of the most urgent issues of today’s world: the various roles of religion in conflicts.
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Intructors

  • Kim, Erin and Marjo (Lead educators) University of Groningen
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Platform

FutureLearn is a massive open online course (MOOC) learning platform founded in December 2012.

It is a company launched and wholly owned by The Open University in Milton Keynes, England. It is the first UK-led massive open online course learning platform, and as of March 2015 included 54 UK and international University partners and unlike similar platforms includes four non-university partners: the British Museum, the British Council, the British Library and the National Film and Television School.

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