HIST 268 - Special Topics
Content & topics vary by semester and instructor. May be repeated for credit (2 times)
Advanced Special Topic Fall 2017: Christianity, Violence and Genocide in the Modern World
This course explores the complex role of Christianity (and religion more broadly) in cases of genocide and extreme violence in the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Through a series of case studies we will discuss broader themes such as the role of church institutions, religion and war, religious buildings as sites of violence, religious identity and nationalism, spiritual resistance, solidarity and rescue, reconciliation, Christianity’s role in coming to terms with past atrocities. Topics may vary but could include: aboriginal peoples in the Americas, Australia, and New Zealand (19th and 20th centuries); the Herero-Nama Genocide in German Southwest Africa (1900s); the Armenian Genocide (1910s); the Holocaust (1940s); Cambodia (1970s); Guatemala (1980s); Rwanda (1990s); and the former Yugoslavia (1990s).
We will study the subject matter with an interdisciplinary approach, primarily using the tools of the historian, but also considering those of theology, psychology, and the sociology of religion. This course deals with some of the most powerful, painful, and controversial aspects of human life. Please be prepared to encounter disturbing and sometimes graphic material in the readings and films. We should probably also all expect to be challenged, surprised, and sometimes distressed by what is said in discussions. In crafting the course, I have tried to be sensitive, respectful, and inclusive without turning away from difficult realities in the past and present. I ask you to do the same in the way you engage the subject matter and one another.
Anticipated Terms Offered: N/A