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19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

You may have been told by a loved one that there were two things you should never talk about in polite company: religion and politics. Nothing against those close to you, but we think that’s wrong. In fact, our collective inability to talk about religion and politics threatens to further polarize our public discourse and paralyze democratic institutions. This course offers an introduction to both subjects with the explicit goal of helping us all learn how to speak together and speak to the wider public about religion and politics. Along the way, we will consider how to discuss different ethical perspectives and distinctive approaches to current issues including, but not limited to memory, race, elections, public opinion, gender, sexuality, money, and social media. Students will engage the histories, politics, and religious traditions of communities that historically have been disempowered and interrogate structural processes of bias and inequality with the goal of both interrogating these systems and learning how to speak about resistance and transformation. From campus debates to family gatherings, our aim in this course is to equip you to better speak with others about those things you have been told to never bring up.

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