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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Politics Short Name: POL514
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: GUERRINA R Dr (Politics)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability

Autumn Semester only

Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark(%)
Essay (3000 words)
Essay (2000 words)
Qualifying Condition(s) 
A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module.

Module Overview

The module will provide an overview of religious ideologies and the way they are perceived and understood. It will examine the relationship between belief and reason, and examine the politicisation of religious ideologies and how they can lead to conflict. This process will draw on a critique of the significance of belief in contemporary conflicts and political responses.



Module Aims

This module aims to: 

  • Outline the main features of understanding religious experience from a rational perspective. 
  • Analyse the main insights of this perspective in relation to conflict. 
  • Explain how the politicisation of belief systems has resulted in conflict 
  • Introduce the factors roles in this process 
  • Relate this to current conflicts 
  • Explore how conflict resolution has responded to international conflicts.
Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this module students will be able to 

  • Articulate rational critical views on religious ideology and conflict: 
  • Apply this, to emerging issues related to conflict 
  • Provide a rationale about conflict resolution

Cognitive Skills 

  • Analytical skills. 
  • Synthesis and evaluation. 
  • Reflection of own learning experience. 
  • Application of theoretical approaches to the analysis of current political developments 
  • Problem solving skills

Transferable skills 

  • Writing and presentation skills. 
  • IT skills. 
  • Self-organisation. 
  • Inter-disciplinary approaches

Practical skills 

  • Time management 
  • Reflective learning
Module Content
  • Introduction to thinking theologically; the way in which religious experience has been examined rationally and the insights and constraints this provides 
  • Concepts of kerygmatics, didache, doctrine and dogma; exploring the differences between expounding and teaching belief, and the difference between proselytising and understanding 
  • Popular responses to conflict; religious suspicion and misunderstanding, negative stereotyping and demonisation , theological diversity and pluralism 
  • Historical context; an overview of ideological conflict 
  • Internationalisation of conflict; global threat and the demand for universal belief, 
  • Notions of a just and holy war 
  • Theocracy, kingship, and divine right; authority of ideologies and their relationship to law 
  • Fundamentalism; its nature, emerging values and contradictory ethics 
  • Political responses to terror and liberation; issues of intervention and illiberal democracy, the moral high ground 
  • Conflict resolution; an examination of developments of situations where conflicts have been addressed and the outcomes of doing this.
Methods of Teaching/Learning

Lectures, seminars, debates & discussions, presentations, independent learning case study

Selected Texts/Journals


Petersen et al, 2003, Reason and belief: an introduction to the philosophy of religion, Oxford, OUP


Deangelis F, 2002 Terrorism as Political Philosophy, Lincoln NE, iUniverse 

Elsworthy S, and Rifkind G, 2006, Making Terrorism History, Rider 

Euben R, 1999, Enemy in the mirror;: fundamentalism and the limits of modern rationalism, Chichester, Princetown University Press 

Hoge J E, Rose G, 2005, Understanding the War on Terror, Florida, Council on Foreign Affairs 

Jones I, Percy M, Fundamentalism, Church and Society, London, SPCK 

Kushner H, 2003, Encyclopaedia of Terrorism, London, Sage 

Migliore D, 2004, Faith seeking Understanding: an introduction to Christian theology, Cambridge, Eerdmans 

Silke A, 2003, Terrorism, victims and society: psychological perspectives on terrorism and its consequencies, Chichester, Hoboken NJ, Wiley 

Staub E, 1989, The Roots of Evil, Cambridge, CUP


Chandler D, 1999, Bosnia: Faking democracy after Dayton, London, Pluto Press

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