Watch Thinking About Religion and Violence
- 1 Season
Thinking About Religion and Violence is an engaging and thought-provoking course available in The Great Courses Signature Collection. The course explores the complex relationship between religious beliefs and violent actions throughout history and seeks to answer the question of why religion can sometimes lead to violent behavior.
Presented by Jason C. Bivins, a Professor of Religious Studies at North Carolina State University, this course is divided into 24 lectures, each approximately 30 minutes long. Bivins is an expert in the fields of American religion, race, and popular culture, and his extensive knowledge and experience in the subject matter are evident throughout the course.
The lectures are organized thematically and cover what religion is, different forms of violence and their definitions, The Crusades, The Inquisition, The Salem Witch Trials, terrorism, and religiously motivated violence, among other topics. Bivins provides historical and contemporary examples of religious violence in different cultures and societies and explores the motives, justifications, and outcomes of these actions.
One of the recurring themes of the course is the relationship between religion and power. Bivins discusses how religious beliefs have been used throughout history to justify violent actions and to assert dominance over other beliefs and cultures. He also discusses how non-religious ideologies, such as nationalism, have taken on religious-like qualities and have been used to justify violent actions.
The course also examines how religious beliefs have been twisted and manipulated for political purposes, including the exploitation of religious texts and doctrines to justify acts of aggression and war. Bivins challenges listeners to think critically about how individuals and groups can manipulate religious beliefs to achieve their goals.
Another significant theme of the course is the role of the media in shaping our perceptions of religion and violence. Bivins emphasizes the importance of being aware of the ways the media can skew our understanding of different religious groups and cultures, particularly in the context of violent events. He stresses that critical thinking and questioning are crucial to understanding the complicated relationship between religion and violence.
Overall, Thinking About Religion and Violence is an in-depth and insightful course that presents a balanced and nuanced understanding of the complex relationship between religion and violent behavior. Bivins is an engaging and knowledgeable presenter, and his lectures are rich in historical context and contemporary examples. The course challenges listeners to think more deeply about the ways religious beliefs can be used to justify violence and how critical thinking and questioning can help us to better understand our world.
Thinking About Religion and Violence is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (24 episodes). The series first aired on April 27, 2018.