This course examines selected scriptural, traditional, and modern texts dealing with war and peace from the three major monotheisms in an attempt to assess the cumulative importance of a pro-peace, or even pacifist, perspective in the three religions. A comparative approach will be used to study the three traditions. In contrast to the tendency to focus on violent militant groups found within Judaism, Christianity, and especially Islam, this course will highlight individuals and groups within the three traditions that have opposed war while promoting just and peaceful relations both internally and externally. Attention will be given to the scriptural sources and historical development of their positions, along with their impact on their political and social contexts both in the past and in the modern world. Examples of the involvement of such individuals and groups through various activist movements, for example, active nonviolence will also be examined.
- To gain the ability to examine critically religious texts (scriptural and post-scriptural) within each tradition for their social, cultural, and political implications.
- To acquire a working knowledge of past and present monotheistic literature on justice and peace as formulated and used by individuals and groups within the three traditions.
- To become familiar with the processes by which peace movements within the three monotheistic traditions have originated, developed, flourished, and/or declined.
- To analyze and describe the ways of life inspired by the worldviews of individuals and groups committed to justice and peace on religious grounds.
- To understand the non-separation, for individuals and groups committed to justice and peace, of religious, cultural, social, and political life.
- Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
- Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
- Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
- Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.
- Describe and analyze political, economic, and cultural elements which influence relations of states and societies in their historical and contemporary dimensions.
- Demonstrate knowledge of cultural, social, religious and linguistic differences.
- Analyze specific international problems, illustrating the cultural, economic, and political differences that affect their solution.
- Understand the role of a world citizen and the responsibility world citizens share for their common global future.