Introduces students to an increasingly important question: what is the relationship between religion and politics around the world? For a long period in the 20th Century, religion seemed to be decreasing in importance. Eventually, it was thought, religion would simply go away and secularism, development, and rationality would rule the day. In the last generation, however, events like the Iranian Revolution, the rise of the Christian Right, 9/11, the Tibetan monks protest, the spread of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, and numerous wars fought in the name of God have brought religion back to prominence in world affairs. In this course, we will explore the contemporary impact of religions on politics around the world, through four broad themes: how to understand religion in politics , the relationship between religion and the state, religious groups as sources of conflict and peace, and contemporary religio-political challenges.