HDS 3632

Religion and Democratization in the Context of the Arab Spring

Jocelyne Cesari


In the light of the Arab Spring events that are currently unfolding, the course will examine the role of Islam in democratic changes and compare it to other religious and political experiences outside the Middle East. We will systematically analyze the status of Islam within modern nation-states through case studies of Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq Turkey and Tunisia and discuss the interactions between modernization, secularization and democratization in the political evolution of Muslim-majority countries.The course will examine the dominant modernization and secularization theories and discuss their relevance to understand the influence of religion and more specifically of Islam on political development. For each country, the course will: Explain the status of Islam in the nation -building process; Examine the continuous use and redefinition of Islam in the tensions between the State and the political opposition; Analyze the current diversity among different forms of political Islam within and outside each country; Evaluate the international consequences of such a diversity; and Assess the capacity of democratization of the different Islamist groups in each country and region.

Enrollment Limited: No
Open to BTI Students: Yes


0.50 credits
Fall 2012
Fri 12pm-2pm
Divinity Hall Room 211

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • Islamic Studies
  • Religion, Ethics, and Politics
MDiv Distribution Category/ies None
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry None
Language Course Designation(s) None