Summer Timetable

POL381H1S L0101

Topics in Political Theory

Religion and Politics


Political scientists thought that religion would wane as a result of modernization and economic developments. Yet religion has “returned” and is today more salient than ever. Increasingly, religious actors and institution have become important participants in public debates. This course is an introduction to the main topics and debates in the literature on religion and politics in developing and developed countries. This is not a course on theology or belief systems. It looks at how we theorize the role of religion in politics and how politics takes into account “religion” and religious actors. The course first looks at the definitions and explanations of broad phenomena like secularization, religious freedoms, fundamentalism, and violence. In the second half, the course looks at the ways in which states engage with religious actors and how, in return, religious actors pressure the state into adopting a religious agenda.


Weekly readings will be available through Blackboard.

Format and Requirements

Quizzes on readings (25%), midterm test (30%) and a final exam (45%).


POL200Y1 or POL200Y5 or POLC70H3 and POLC71H3