Terror and Religion

UNSW Sydney

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Terror and Religion

  • Host University

    UNSW Sydney

  • Location

    Sydney, Australia

  • Area of Study

    History, Peace and Conflict Studies, Pre-Law, Religion

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    understand the complexity of religious violence in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, especially in relation to terrorism and the so-called ?war against terror?. The course addresses the re-emergence of religious nationalism and the threats it presents to modern states.
    The course investigates legal and other definitions of terrorism and the development of modern doctrines of terror. It examines topics such as religious motivation, and the justification and legitimisation of the use violence in a number of major religious belief systems. It identifies the differences between mainstream and extremist teachings. It analyses significant acts of religiously motivated violence, and explores background issues such as secularisation, modernism and globalisation, as well as more personal ones, such as the nature of religious conviction and its influence on behaviour.
    The course will take an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating insights from history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, studies in religion, politics and the law.
    Main Topics
    ? Historic and contemporary examples of violence in religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism and new religious movements;
    ? The evolution of modern doctrines of terror and their influence on religiously motivated violence;
    ? Similarities and differences between religious and other forms of terrorism;
    ? Interpretation of religious teachings on violence by extremist thinkers in a number of religions and their significance for contemporary terrorism
    ? Analytical tools for understanding contemporary religious violence, including an understanding of personal, contextual and environmental factors.
    ? The influence of local and global politics and secularisation on the spread of religiously motivated violence
    ? Alternative forms of governance suggested by religious extremists, including the transnational entities such as a caliphate or theocracy
    ? The threat that contemporary terrorism poses to democracy
    ? Recent developments in terrorism studies and the measures taken to counter it

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.


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