Religion and Urbanism

Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour (when scheduled). Religion and ritual are fundamental components of social life, extending deep into human past. Earliest cities often made use of power of religion, with rulers and elites endowing religious architecture, and placing ritual centers at heart of urban realm. In modern times, however, religious places have been treated with more conflicted identity in cities, retaining some of their prominence in spatial realm while less-articulated with political power given expectation of secularism as dominant public mode in modern nation-states. Examination of power of religion as social, organizational, and political principle in both ancient and modern cities, focusing on four of world's dominant living ritual traditions (Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism). P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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