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    Vassar College
   
 
  Sep 24, 2017
 
 
    
Catalogue 2017-2018
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JWST 180 - Interrogating Religious Extremism

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)
(Same as RELI 180 ) Where is the center in religion? And what defines the fringes, borders, margins and extremes? The aim of this course is to the concept and category of religious “extremism” and how it relates to the equally fraught idea of “mainstream religiosity:” to what extent does it draw on it and yet differ from it? What is the difference between “extreme” and “marginal”? After investigating these categories, we identify beliefs and social practices of contemporary Jewish, Christian and Muslim groups that depart from what we have identified as “mainstream” bodies of tradition in significant ways and seek to understand the complex theological and social agenda behind them. We also investigate how these groups portray themselves and construct their identity vis-a-vis the more centered groups by simultaneously laying claim on tradition and radically deviating from it. Agi Veto.

Open only to freshmen; satisfies the college requirement for a Freshman Writing Seminar.

Two 75-minute periods.



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