The class is designed for students who intend to deepen their philosophical and sociological understanding of religion. After exploring the "masters of suspicion" (Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud), we engage Antonio Gramsci's theory of hegemony and WEB Du Bois' sociological analysis of the Black Church. We explore how Pierre Bourdieu's theory of "habitus" and "social field" can be used for a social analysis of religious attitudes. We get acquainted with philosophies that focus on religions’ "utopian" dimensions (Ernst Bloch) and the "messianic" components of our life practices (Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida). We explore different and conflicting feminist approaches to religion and look at the relationship between anticolonialism, postcolonialism and decoloniality.

What can we learn from the different critical theories for a more comprehensive engagement with religion(s) and religious movements?

Notes: Formerly CS 309.