Law & Religion in Legal, Social, and Political Perspective

Quick Info
(3160.03)  Seminar
Professor R. Akande
3 credit(s)  3 hour(s);
Discussion, Student Participation and Reflection, Short Lectures.
Upper Year Research & Writing Requirement

Students enrolled in this seminar will engage in a close and critical examination of the complex historical and contemporary interactions between law and religion, two social forces whose relationship has shaped – and continues to shape – our modern world.  This seminar will call upon students to use the study of the interaction of law and religion as a vehicle for gaining (a) a keener appreciation of the challenges of deep cultural diversity, (b) a deeper and more complex sense of the politics of “secularism” and (c) a richer understanding of the nature of law.  Students will examine certain influential theories in the study of religion and learn about the place of religion in the historical foundations of the common law.  They will trace issues of religious difference in international and comparative perspective, and examine the structure and limits of constitutional rights through the study of doctrines of religious freedom and the general jurisprudence on minority protection.    The seminar will be overtly interdisciplinary, putting questions of history, philosophy, and religious studies alongside legal theory and analysis.