Online course

Governing Religion: European Challenges and Asian Approaches

Explore the relationship between religions and governments and learn how religions have come to be governed across the world.

Governing Religion: European Challenges and Asian Approaches

  • Duration 3 weeks
  • Weekly study 3 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $59 Find out more

Explore ways of governing religion and religious diversity today

On this course you will consider different models of state-religion relations, reviewing examples from both European and non-European countries.

You will learn how different models have emerged out of historical processes of nation formation (including post-colonial independence, redrawing of state boundaries after a major political transition or through an evolutionary process of institutional and value change).

You will also consider your own experiences, and debate ideal models for governing religion and religious diversity in today’s world.

What topics will you cover?

1 – Introduction And Welcome – Why is religion and religious diversity often seen as a problem today?

2 – What are the dominant models for governing religion in Europe today? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

3 – How are state-religion relationships regulated in the MENA region (middle East and North Africa)?

4 – How is religion and religious diversity governed in south and southeast Asia?

5 – What do we learn from the European and Asian experiences in dealing with religious diversity? How can we learn from one another?

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Investigate current debates on state-religion relations
  • Reflect on different countries and different regimes for governing religious diversity
  • Discuss critically the notion of secularism and the idea of a neutral state that governs religion by ‘tolerating’ its presence or indeed by excluding it from the public space
  • Assess models in which religion is given a prominent role in the public space and religious diversity is accommodated precisely because religion is seen as an important matter
  • Compare the experiences of different countries and identify the ingredients of a religious governance regime that accommodates both believers and non believers and makes room for religious diversity

Who is the course for?

This course is for undergraduate and graduates studying sociology, political science or anthropology. It might also be useful for civil society activists, journalists and anyone with an interest in religious diversity and the relationship between government and religion.

Who will you learn with?

Anna Triandafyllidou

Anna Triandafyllidou is Professor at the European University Institute, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, where she directs the Cultural Pluralism Area in the Global Governance Programme.

Tina Magazzini

Tina is a Research Associate at the Global Governance Programme, Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute working primarily on religious diversity governance

Who developed the course?

The European University Institute offers doctoral and post-doctoral training in the social sciences. It hosts the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and the Historical Archives of the EU.

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