Junior Seminar: Religion and Conflict

Fall 2020
W 10-12
Course Description

This class seeks to guide students in researching, organizing, writing, reviewing and rewriting an original research paper of publishable quality and length (approximately 25 pages long).  Students will be encouraged to individually explore any issue relating to religion and conflict, broadly defined.  They will also be expected to closely follow strict guidelines in terms of structure and formatting.

The secondary goal of this class is to discuss the relationship between religion and conflict.  Lectures dedicated to the craft of research and writing will be interspersed with lectures about theoretical and empirical issues relating to religion and conflict worldwide.  We will discuss theories in the social sciences, from psychology and sociology to anthropology and political science, that explore the intersection of religion and domestic or international conflict.  We will examine explanations for fundamentalism and extremism;  the role of religion in driving global, international and ethnic conflict;  religion and martyrdom; religion in the military; the relationship between religion and science; the Just War tradition; and the contribution of religion to conflict resolution. 

The Junior Seminars are intense writing seminars which focus on the research area of the faculty member teaching the course. The seminars will provide an opportunity for students to have direct intellectual interactions with faculty members while also giving the students an understanding for faculty research.

Junior seminars fulfill upper division requirements for the major.


Interested students should submit the title for a research project, related to religion and conflict, that they would like to conduct over the course of the class.  Please send the title, and only the title, via e-mail to Prof. Hassner at just before you waitlist for the seminar in CalCentral.  Please use "Religion and Conflict Research Title" as the subject of your email. This seminar is reserved for students who have taken both PS124A ("War!") and PS124B ("War in the Middle East").  Students who have not taken both of these classes need not apply and will be removed from the waiting list."