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The Great Separation: Politics, Religion and the Modern West
COL 115
Spring 2008
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: HIST 125

This course investigates the relationship between the idea of moral autonomy and modern political thought from the closing of the Middle Ages to the end of the Enlightenment. We begin by surveying the decline and resurgence of theologically-motivated political doctrines from the seventeenth century to the present. Then, in a close reading of important primary texts, we will ask to what extent the emergence of a modern concept of the morally autonomous rational individual was indebted to the assertion of an all-powerful state that could enforce laws and preserve order and property without recourse to religious authority. Finally, we will ask whether the Western experience can serve as the normative basis for other cultures and societies, or whether the return of the divine to political discourse threatens the 'fragile exception' of secular political philosophy.

Essential Capabilities: Writing
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS COL
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUN-22-2024
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