Religion & Nationalism in the Middle East & South Asia


How does religion shape national identity? How and why do some religious traditions become intertwined with the identities of national communities, often at the expense of others? In this course we explore how Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Christianity have interacted with modern nationalism to shape the nation-states of the Middle East and South Asia in profound ways. Throughout the course, we examine a range of case studies to compare and contrast, for example, the complex interaction between religion and nationalism in the creation of Pakistan and Israel in 1947 and 1948 as Muslim and Jewish national homes, the rise of the Hindu Right in India, religion and race in Iran, or the significance of Christianity and Islam for Palestinians and Iraqis. As we do so, we investigate how national movements have selectively and creatively engaged religious traditions over time in order to redefine communal boundaries, narrate new histories, exclude minorities, and reread sacred texts to draw the borders of their national homelands, which have often overlapped at great cost.
Course Attributes: BU Eth; BU IS; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM; AS SC; EN H

Section 01

Religion & Nationalism in the Middle East & South Asia - 01
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