Denmark, Copenhagen

New Wars – Old Beliefs: Conflict and Religion in 21st Century

when 15 August 2016 - 26 August 2016
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 7.5 ECTS
fee EUR 200

The course will address the renewed importance of religion in current wars. During the first decades of the twenty-first century religion has reestablished itself as probably the most important motivation behind a large part of today’s armed conflicts around the world from the terrorist attack of 9/11 in 2001 right up until current civil wars and insurrections, especially in the Middle East and in Africa, evolving around strong religious ideologies. Religion however also plays an important part in the most recent conflict between Ukraine and Russian nationalists. In this conflict, strong nationalistic narratives are paired with equally strong religious ideas reaching back in history with the implication of strong religious-national messianic ideologies fuelling the violent outbursts.

Course leader

Carsten Selch Jensen

Target group

The course is open bachelor and master students

Course aim

The course will provide the students with a deeper understanding of the role of religion in modern conflicts and wars founded on recent international scholarship (for example Jürgensmeyer; Underhill; Wills; Buc). During the course we will from a critical perspective shed light on the historical and contemporary justification of war within the major religious traditions of today (primarily Judaism, Christianity and Islam) as well as address the religious foundation of modern nationalism and civil religion through a number of selected historical as well as contemporary cases and sources. As such the course will have a strong emphasis on Eastern Europe, The Middle East and Africa. The students will be required to read and discuss the selected primary source material as well as a number of secondary publications.

Fee info

EUR 200: EU/EAA citizens
EUR 493: Non EU/EAA citizens