Religion, Ethics, and Power

R661/R761 — Spring 2022

Aaron Stalnaker
Days and Times
R 3:00PM - 5:00PM
Course Description

Religious people do many things with their religions, but perhaps the most socially consequential religious maneuver is to legitimate (or delegitimate) various actions, policies, institutions, and role requirements as good or bad, right or wrong. In this course we will try to think through religions as norm-generating and norm-critiquing legitimation engines, examining various theories of power, authority, normativity, and social action along the way. My hunch, which we will test as best we can, is that “religious ethics” is a profoundly ambiguous and ambivalent phenomenon, creating good and evil in multiple ways and senses as religious people try to order their world as they think it ought to be.