Document Type

Undergraduate Syllabus


Fall 2010



Course Number

DIPL 3850 / Core 3850

Course Description

This course has two central objectives: 1) to provide students with an understanding of the evolving role of religion in Latin American politics, with a primary emphasis on the role of Catholicism and the Catholic Church from the period of the Second Vatican Council until the present; and 2) to provide students an opportunity to reflect on the normative questions of how religious beliefs and religious institutions should affect politics and of how different political systems and state policies should affect the practice of religion. The major themes, to be examined through both Catholic and non-Catholic perspectives, include the institutional relationship between the Catholic Church and the state, the different political expressions of Catholicism (from those inspired by Liberation Theology to supporters of Christian Democratic or Conservative political parties), the persecution of the Church under certain authoritarian regimes and the Catholic response, the rise of religious and political pluralism, and the role of religion in contemporary politics and public policy.