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Religion and Conflict

University of Groningen via FutureLearn

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  • Provider FutureLearn
  • Subject Religion
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 4 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 6 weeks long

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Overview

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Many conflicts in the world today are framed in terms of religion, but there is much discussion and confusion concerning the precise role religion plays in these conflicts. According to some, conflict and violence are inherent to religion. Others claim that religion is only the guise under which social, economic or political conflicts are fought out. The first step to solving religiously framed conflicts is understanding the role of religion in them, and that is what this free online course is about.

Our point of departure is that religion means different things in different circumstances and to different (groups of) people. Therefore, the aim of this course is to show how a religiously framed conflict can be studied in the wider cultural and political contexts of these conflicts. In the course material, we will refer to various religious, cultural and political settings. In addition, we invite you to engage in some modest research activities in your own environment and compare your own findings with those of fellow students.

In the first two weeks, we will discuss how the concepts of religion, conflict and violence have been understood historically and cross-culturally, and address the question of how they are linked. This will enable you to move beyond thinking about religion as either an unavoidable cause for conflicts or merely an excuse to mask more mundane conflicts of interest.

The third week focuses on the question of why religious conflicts have appeared to increase in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. During the fourth week, we will analyze case studies like conflicts over abortion policies in the United States and the rise of IS in the Middle East. In week five, we will shift our attention to the role of religion in peace building and reconciliation.

The course concludes with an assignment in which you will apply your newly acquired analytical tools to write a briefing paper on the role of religion in a specific conflict situation of your own choice.

After completing this course, you will have acquired the knowledge and analytical skills to develop critical insights into one of the most urgent issues of today’s world: the various roles of religion in conflicts.

This course is designed for undergraduate learners who are interested in analysing the relationship between religion and conflict from a social scientific perspective. Although anyone with an interest in the subject can join.

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Reviews for FutureLearn's Religion and Conflict
4.6 Based on 15 reviews

  • 5 stars 67%
  • 4 stars 27%
  • 3 star 7%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

Did you take this course? Share your experience with other students.

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  • 1
Alessandra C
4.0 a year ago
Alessandra completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I have nearly finished the first week of the course and for now I must say that I am very happy to have taken this MOOC !

Videos are very easy to undestand (there are even subtitles for people with difficulties in English), the speakers know their subject and make it interesting to learn. Each unit is built around debates with the other people who enrolled in this course, in order to make you really think. I really appreciate this way of learning and I've already started to approach the subject differently which was my goal in the first place. Based on this first week, I can only …
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Anonymous
5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I have taken about five MOOCs so far, and this one is by far the most in-depth and educational online course I have experienced. The level of study and critical thinking required parallels an in-class, on-campus university course. However, that should not deter anyone from taking this course! It will challenge you and reward you with the knowledge to have informed discussions with peers about the role of religion in current affairs and throughout history. I highly encourage anyone interested to take this course!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Albert .
5.0 4 months ago
by Albert completed this course.
I thank the future learn team via University of Groningen for this course, it is an eyes opening course that broadens your knowledge and understanding about religion and it's diversity, and conflict in general view, knowledge, and understanding, very interesting, and fantastic indeed. My thanks to the lead educators, and the moderators, that made it a reality. I've received the digital certificate, am yet to receive the printed certificate, am highly in need of it please. God bless you all.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 a year ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This a great course, well documented and well presented with excellent interaction from the leaders. The course overview says that it takes 4 hours /week. Well, no it doesn't. Just reading and following up on each session typically takes several hours (if you get into it). The participants tend to demand that arguments put forward are well considered. And, expect to take more than the allotted tie required. This is a challenging, insightful and worthwhile course.
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Anonymous
4.0 a year ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I have completed several courses from FutureLearn, and this was by far the most challenging. The first two weeks introduced some difficult concepts, and the academic language was a struggle, but it became easier once case studies were introduced. The weekly suggestion of four hours was very optimistic. I spent a lot longer than this on it. In a world of multiple choice answers and Twitter it was good to have to tackle a long assignment at the end.
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Anonymous
5.0 a year ago
Anonymous completed this course.
As a non academic I was curious as to why religion featured so much in contemporary and historical conflicts. This short course is packed with information for the newcomer to the subject and is very well put together and presented. Challenging at times ... but then it should be.
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Anonymous
5.0 a year ago
Anonymous completed this course.
The six-week course is very challenging with lots of information and documents to master for a novice student in the religious field. Yet it is very fruitful for when you complete the course, you feel your knowledge is indeed enlarged.
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Anonymous
5.0 8 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Well though out course which included a lot of theoretical information (both religious and conflict based) that was then applied to the real world. Was well balanced and made you think!

Moderators were active and helpful.
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Anonymous
5.0 2 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Very interesting thanks and keep the good work.

I learned a lot of terrible things humans can do when participating of a common belief in something that´s irrational, absolute and divisive.

Hope we can change...
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Ray R
5.0 3 months ago
by Ray completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I really enjoyed this course! It was challenging and inspiring. I learned so much and I plan on applying what I have learned, then teaching it others.
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Anonymous
5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
It's very interesting and challenging! If fusion of religion, politics, and history is your forte, then you better take this course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
4.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This is a great course with very rich material - theoretic, historical and contemporary - and lively exchanges with fellow students!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Srgsrg R
5.0 2 years ago
Srgsrg completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Leads you on a step by step review of the subject, the course is concise but yet does not seem as if it is lacking any information.
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Luis R
3.0 3 years ago
Luis completed this course.
0 person found
this review helpful
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Ian P
4.0 3 years ago
by Ian completed this course.
0 person found
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  • 1

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