G. K. Chesterton described the United States as “a nation with the soul of a church,” but America’s religious institutions have increasingly taken on the souls of political parties. At the same time, liberal democracy finds itself under stress and the core values of liberalism are being challenged by nationalism, authoritarian forms of populism, and a backlash against rising economic inequality. And embedded racism has come under vigorous challenge – in the US especially, but throughout the democracies. This course will explore the religious and secular values that under-gird democracy. It will examine both political and religious institutions, and explore the thinking of theologians and philosophers on the challenge of self-rule.
Also offered by the Divinity School as 2042.