Spring 2023 Religion BC3671 section 001

Religion and Human Rights

Call Number 00194
Day & Time
F 2:10pm-4:00pm
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Timothy Vasko
Course Description

What is the relationship between religion and human rights? How have different religious traditions conceived of “the human” as a being worthy of inherent dignity and respect, particularly in moments of political, military, economic, and ecological crisis? How and why have modern regimes of human rights privileged some of these ideas and marginalized others? What can these complicated relationships between religion and human rights explain some of the key crises in human rights law and politics today, and what avenues can be charted for moving forward? In this class, we will attempt to answer these questions by first developing a theoretical understanding of some of the key debates about the origins, trajectories, and legacies of modern human rights’ religious entanglements. We will then move on to examine various examples of ideas about and institutions for protecting “humanity” from different regions and histories. Specifically, we will examine how different societies, organizations, and religious traditions have addressed questions of war and violence; freedom of belief and expression; gender and sexual orientation; economic inequality; ecology; and the appropriate ways to punish and remember wrongdoing. In doing so, we will develop a repertoire of theoretical and empirical tools that can help us address both specific crises of human rights in various contexts, as well as the general crisis of faith and and observance of human rights as a universal norm and aspiration for peoples everywhere.

Web Site Vergil
Department Religion @Barnard
Enrollment 14 students (15 max) as of 12:06PM Saturday, July 13, 2024
Subject Religion
Number BC3671
Section 001
Division Barnard College
Campus Barnard College
Section key 20231RELI3671X001