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Contemporary Religious Conflict: Ethnographic Approaches

Contemporary Religious Conflict: Enthnographic Approaches: MPhil Pathway in Religion and Conflict Lent Term Module


Yezidi Genocide Protest Washington

By examining contemporary religious conflict through the lens of anthropology, this module will seek to understand how such conflicts may be understood ‘from the inside’. Each session is framed around a close reading of ethnographic texts, selected on the basis of their finely grained accounts of religious ‘othering’. From dispensationalist anxieties about the arrival of the antichrist, to the bigotry of anti-Catholic football chanting, to the racism and Islamophobia of far-right street activism, to the American Protestant fundamentalism of Presidential candidates and doomsday preppers, this module will critically examine the cultural logics and social consequences of religious exclusion, exceptionalism, and hate.

Four sessions will cover the following subjects:

1. Exclusive Brethren Antichrists: Accusations of Evil and Political Conflict on the Aberdeenshire Coast

2. The Religion of Orange Politics: Fraternity and Hate in Scotland and Northern Ireland

3. Racism and Islamophobia: The Religion of the Far-Right in Contemporary Britain

4. American Protestant Fundamentalism: From ‘Cultural Wars’ to Political Violence