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Religion and Politics


Admission requirements


This course explores the complex and contested nexus between religion and politics. The first section of the course analyses characterizations of religion at play in several theories of democracy so as to critically examine commonly-assumed notions of religion that underpin much contemporary political discourse. The second section investigates several country case studies, each of which exemplify a distinct model regarding the relation between religion and politics. The course concludes with a third section that probes the politics surrounding several contemporary issues, inquiring as to how religion might be entangled in the debates.

Course objectives

Through participation in this course, diligent students will:

  • Gain an understanding of the conceptualizations of religion at play in prominent theories of democracy

  • Expand their knowledge of the different ways in which several countries around the world have structured the relationship between religion and politics in practice

  • Become aware of the multifaceted presence of religion in contemporary political debates

Through participation in this course, diligent students will also:

  • Learn to synthesize and prioritize large amounts of information

  • Cultivate the ability to distill complex arguments

  • Improve writing skills through assignments and examinations

  • Improve public speaking skills through engagement with peers in class discussion

  • Develop critical thinking skills to further pursue questions regarding religion and politics as well as to interject as informed citizens within public debates


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Mode of instruction


Assessment method

45% Three response essays (750wds. each)
55% Written examination with essay questions


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Students who have submitted their response essays on time but scored an overall insufficient grade for the course are entitled to a resit. For the resit, students are given a chance to retake the written examination.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

The reading list will be available on Blackboard prior to the start of the course.


Students are required to register through uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Dr. J.H. Valk