Module 1: Introduction to Religious Freedom

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Platform for Social Transformation
  • Sessions: 1
  • Duration: 1 1

Summary and learning goals

The aim of this module is to give students a holistic understanding of the full scope of the right to religious freedom, its operationalization and its observation. Because a minimum level of religious literacy is required to grasp full breadth of the right to religious freedom, the first session of this module unpacks the notion of religion. The second and third sessions discuss and define different complementary perspectives of religious freedom and its violation. The final session discusses a selection of important public policy issues involving religious freedom.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand the role of religion in society and in public policy;
  • Students are familiar with the basic definitions and measurements of religion;
  • Students are able to identify multiple dimensions of religious freedom;
  • Students are able to observe the full breadth of religious freedom violations.

Video lectures

  • What is Religion?
    1. Defining and Measuring Religion: the Continuum of Religious Identity and Behavior
    2. The Role of Religion in Society
    3. Religion as a Crosscutting Theme in Public Policy
  • What is Religious Freedom?
    1. The Human Rights Perspective
    2. The Political Science Perspective (Quality of Democracy)
    3. The Multidimensionality of Religious Freedom (The Reformed Political Philosophy Perspective)
  • What are Violations of Religious Freedom?
    1. Definitions of Religious Persecution (Three Myths of Religious Persecution)
    2. Comparison of Religious Freedom Assessment Tools
    3. From Religious Persecution to the Vulnerability of Religious Minorities
  • Public Policy Issues Involving Religious Freedom
    1. Religious Policy: The Regulation of Religion (Types of Religious Policy: Official Religions, Religious Support, Regulation of the Majority Religion and Religious Discrimination Against a Minority or All Religions)
    2. Separation of Religion and State (Types of Political Secularism, The Myth of Separation of Faith and Politics, Controversies Around the Political Participation of Confessional Actors)
    3. The Promotion of Religious Freedom in Foreign Policy

  • Session 1

    Lesson 1

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  • Session 2

    Lesson 2

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  • Session 3
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  • Session 4

    Lesson 4

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  • Course materials
    • Course Materials: Introduction to Religious Freedom
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Platform for Social Transformation

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