At one time there was a radical division between religion and public life, but today there is enormous interest in the role of religion in the public sphere. The relationship between religion and politics is receiving much attention in the social sciences. This programme aims to furnish students with a critical understanding of key concepts and themes in the field of religion and political life. Students will explore various approaches to studying the various relationships between Religion and Political life (theoretical, historical, anthropological, ethnographic, and sociological methods, for example). Students will acquire knowledge of the historical and continuing involvement of Religion in various forms of political culture, and the ability to analyse critically religious traditions or aspects thereof from the standpoint of their involvement with political life. The programme will also provide the necessary foundations for further research in the field of Religion and Political Life.
The subject core course unit is typically Religion and Political Life, which will provide a grounding in five methodological approaches to examining the relationship between religion and politics (historical, philosophical, theological, ethnographic, political). This is complemented by a School-led core course which gives students the opportunity to acquire a variety of research and presentation skills.Optional course units typically include: From Religion to Politics; Gender and Globalisation; Exploring Hindu Nationalism; Christianity, Culture and Society in England c.1750 - 2000. After successful completion of the taught course units you will write a dissertation for which you will usually have one-to-one supervision.