IH HGS 256


Document Type

Course Change

Publication Date

Fall 2008


KEENE STATE COLLEGE 2008-2009 COURSE PROPOSAL FORM NOTE: Please review the Senate Curriculum Committee Guidelines for instructions on completing proposal form. (refer to pages 4 - 5 for proposal details) DATE OF SUBMISSION: 30 September 2008 SPONSORING PROGRAM AND CHAIR: Holocaust Studies, Paul Vincent, pvincent@keene.edu PROPOSAL SPONSOR: Henry Knight, 358-2949, hknight@keene.edu PROPOSED ACTION: Course Addition Number Change Title Change Credit Change Description Change Prerequisite Change Course Deletion Course Replacement Other: CURRENT COURSE NUMBER, TITLE and DESCRIPTION: PROPOSED COURSE NUMBER and/or TITLE: Abbreviated Course Title, if necessary: IHHGS 256 Religion and Violence PROPOSED COURSE DESCRIPTION: Probes the links between religion and violence in Eastern and Western religious traditions. Examines the Holocaust as a paradigmatic case for understanding the relationship between religion and violence while exploring other cases of religious violence to test the limits and implications of working within such a framework. Spring, even years. LEARNING OUTCOMES: Discipline Specific Students will demonstrate at ability to: • Compare knowledge of various religions’ understandings of the sacred, and the role and function of violence in their views of the world. • Explore and analyze general and specific cases of religious violence manifest in cultures and religious traditions different from their own (or ones with which they are most familiar). • Approach the problem of religious violence from multiple perspectives, utilizing the disciplines of the social sciences (i.e., psychology, sociology, anthropology) and religious studies. IHHGS 256 Updated 18 April 2008 2 • Utilize multiple perspectives to explore and analyze religion’s treatment of “the other” and the role of the religious imagination in shaping the world it shares with others; • An ability to think critically, and write and speak effectively, about the issues specific to religion’s relationship to violence. Humanities Perspectives Students will: • Understand and interpret diverse evidence about religion and violence in diverse cultures and societies. • Articulate an understanding of representative theories from the social sciences that account for the relationships between religion and violence. • Be able to evaluate diverse approaches to the historical phenomena of religion and violence and their relationships to power, privilege, and difference. Integrative Diversity Students will: • Recognize how differences shape approaches to identity, knowledge and power, and vice versa. • Apply diverse perspectives and experiences to develop disciplined arguments to support their work. Ethics Students will: • Analyze the ethical issues within the general problematic of religion and violence and investigate the specific issues within selected case studies of religion and violence. Global Issues Students will: • Be able to understand and analyze global manifestations of religious violence utilizing perspectives and theories studies in the course. • Be able to apply their increased understanding of the religious imagination and symbolic forms of violence in the interpretation of other cultures and conflicts within and between them. RATIONALE: The Holocaust and other forms of genocidal violence often cannot be understood without coming to terms with the religious dimensions of their violence. Understanding this dimension in human affairs calls for a disciplined investigation of the role of the religious imagination, especially the way it configures “the other” in the world it inhabits and shapes for its own adherents and with those who stand outside its boundaries. This course will link our study the Holocaust and genocide to the investigation of other situations of religious and symbolic violence occurring at home and around the globe. RESOURCES: While other faculty in the program in Holocaust Studies offer expertise in related areas, the current Director of the Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies, Henry Knight, has focused his research on the Holocaust with special attention to the ways in which violence IHHGS 256 Updated 18 April 2008 3 is rooted in the religious imaginations of a variety of the world’s religious traditions, most especially the monotheistic traditions of the Abrahamic religions. More specifically, he has studied the shaping power of the Christian imagination and how it configures "the other" in the formation of Christian identity and communal life. He brings over 25 years of scholarship and teaching in this area to this topic. This course would benefit directly from his scholarship and from his involvement in numerous projects with other scholars in Religious Studies who investigate this problematic relationship. Additional resources, of course, include the collection of the Cohen Center and the network of campus and community support for pursuing this topic. DEPARTMENTAL VOTE: Holocaust Studies: Date 12 September 08 For:_____8_______ Against:____0______ Abstain:____0____ Absent:______0____


Senate Curriculum Committee




Keene State College

IH HGS 256