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Lecture 1 and Lecture 2 NOTES

by: Ellie

Lecture 1 and Lecture 2 NOTES GVPT289L

Marketplace > University of Maryland > Political Science > GVPT289L > Lecture 1 and Lecture 2 NOTES
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About this Document

Notes with in class examples, case study/main question that Prof. McCauley always starts the lectures with and quotes from him.
Prof. John F. McCauley
Class Notes
religion, Politics, international relations, world affairs, islam, christianity





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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ellie on Sunday February 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GVPT289L at University of Maryland taught by Prof. John F. McCauley in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 431 views. For similar materials see RELIGIONS, BELIEFS, AND WORLD AFFAIRS in Political Science at University of Maryland.


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Date Created: 02/21/16
st 1 of February Introduction and key points for class’ context  Religion is an IDENTITY. So it is important in personal as well as social level. The nature of religion makes it politically important.  Religion is an informal INSTITUTION.  It is often used as a useful political tool by leaders and groups. Wednesday, February 3 ,2016 Case study/ Main inquiry of the lecture  Saddam Hussain was in charge in Iraq even back in times of the Gulf War (1991). U.S went into Iraq to prevent Saddam Hussain who wanted to take over Kuwait which is has very rich resources of oil in its realms. U.S quickly won but Saddam remained in charge in Iraq still. (p.s Saddam added “Allah-u akbar” (God is the greatest) and changed the Iraqi flag’s initiated meaning right before U.S took over. This is a good example of religion being used as a political tool by a leader.) What makes religion important politically?  IDENTITY POLITICS: 1. Language 2. Tribe 3. Caste 4. Region/ Village 5. Race … and 6. Religion Theories:  The importance of religion is PRIMORDIAL “Primordial” indicates that it is important because it is involuntary and fixed. Professor McCauley explains this type of understanding saying that if the religion is primordial “it is in your blood” and/or “you born into it”.  The importance of religion is CONSTRUCTED “Constructed” indicates that it has changed, created based on political context. Example: Charlie Hebdo in France (even though France is claimed to be relatively secular) Example: The Rush Limbaugh Radio Show where Obama was called “Imam Hussein Obama”  Construction might increase or decrease the importance of religion as well as it can shape the way people see a particular religion.  The importance of religion is INSTRUMENTAL It’s importance based on self-interest and/or personal gain. Example: King Henry IV of France: He was a Calvinist (Protestant) in 1958 and a Catholic in 1959 (You needed to be Catholic to be eligible as a King.  Primordial approach is – in the political/academic sense- outdated.  Constructed and instrumental approaches go hand in hand Example: When an activist leader says “They hate us because we are Christians”, that leader constructs the mass’ ideas by using the religion as an instrument. What makes religion different for politics than other identities?  It is voluntary and easy to change… sort of  Religions are founded on sacred texts. All these sacred texts are guidelines of certain practices.  There are people who are religious and there are people who are non-religious. One can say that he or she doesn’t practice religion but once cannot say “I don’t practice my race, my whiteness”  Religion is extremely transnational


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