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Issues in Social Sciences: Religious Freedom

Religious freedom is recognized as a universal human right, but religious believers across the world continue to experience restrictions on that right. What is religious freedom—what does it mean in theory, law, practice, and social scientific inquiry? How is it related to other rights and freedoms? Why does it matter for thriving societies? What are the demonstrable causes and consequences of restricting it? What can be done to preserve or advance it when threatened? This course helps students explore and apply answers to these questions.

Course Outcomes

  1. Students will explain what religious freedom means in principle and in practice.
  2. Students will explore the relationship between religious freedom and other social, political, or economic outcomes, reading and evaluating relevant scholarship.
  3. Students will describe compelling cases of religious freedom (or its absence) in real people’s lives.
  4. Students will recognize key issues in scholarly and policy debates about religious freedom and contribute to those debates.
  5. Students will reflect on and respond to the relationship between scholarly analysis and prophetic comment on religious freedom.
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3.0 Credits






Fall, Winter, Spring