Religion, Conflict and Peace

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Harvard University




Free (certificate fee: USD$ 99, optional)

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This course explores the diverse and complex roles that religions play in both promoting and mitigating violence. It is offered by Harvard University through edX, an online education platform.

This course discusses a series of contemporary conflicts in different regions of the world to learn a method for recognizing and analyzing how religious ideologies are embedded in all arenas of human agency and not isolated from political, economic, and cultural life, as is often assumed. In addition to examining the conflicts themselves, it elaborates on the religious dimensions of the impacts those conflicts have on civic life in areas such as public health, education, and commerce by addressing a series of questions. Besides this, this course follows the popular 'World Religions Through Their Scriptures XSeries,' which explores the foundations of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.

Some of the questions addressed in this course are:

  • How to interpret the roles religions play in contemporary conflicts?
  • How religions are internally diverse?
  • How religions evolve and change?
  • How religions are embedded in all human cultures?