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POLI 227 Lecture Notes - Socalled, Liberation Theology, Morocco

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 227
Rex Brynen

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Political dev includes the secularization of politics, the progressive exclusion of religion
from the pol system.
in the Middle East, techno tools of modernization have served to reinforce the traditional
belief and practice.
since the end of the Cold War, ISLAMIC FUNDA has supplanted Soviet Comm as the
most widely perceived threat to W security.
1. The meeting of church and state
religious orga and beliefs continue to influence pol behavior. Eg. Black baptist church
were in the forefront of the American civil rights movements.
the blending of religion and pol is most apparent in THEOCRATIC states (= pol systems
dominated by by religious leaders and institutions). Eg. taliban ruled Afghanistan (96-01),
and the gov became an extension of funda clergy.
2. Great religions in the 3rd World
4 major religions : catholicism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism
None of the 3rdW religions are monolithic
Buddhism has 2 major schools : Thevarada (Way of elders) = southern Buddhism (Laos,
Thailand) / Mahayna (Great Vehicle) = northern B (Japan, china)
doctrinal diff in nonhierarchical religion have rarely provoked conflicts BUT in rel like Islam
clashes between contending bracnhes of the same religion have often been intense and
Eg. Sunni and Shi‟ite : question is who should succeed to prophet Mohammed. but the
similarities of their faith outweigh their differences. Currently, 85-90% of the 1b muslims are
3. Religion, Modernity and Secularization
religion is a general obstacle to modernization; may inhibit dev in some respect, while enc
others. Eg. all the rel institutions have legitimized the state‟s authority at some point in their
history, a nec step for state building.
theory : poli modernization requires the secularization because :
- empirical component notes that as the soc modernises, it becomes secular
- normative : secu is not a common trend, but it is also desirable cose it increases
religious freedom, reduces state persecution, permits the state to make more rational
decisions free of rel bias.
BUT most of the time, modernization has caused a religious backlashwhen pursued to
rapidly. Eg. Iran : imposed rapid Western Style dev which caused a radical islamic revival.
theocracy : Iran, Tibet. And are diff opinions depending on how the power is used (T :
peace/ I : terro)
4. Structural and theological bases of church-state relations
two factors help define a religion‟s pol involvement : theological views regarding the
relationship between temporal and spiritual matters + degree to which its clergy is
hierarchically orga and centrally controlled.
two different types of religio-political systems (Donald Smith) :
- Organic system : weak/ nonexistent rel hierarchy, less able to influence pol. Eg.
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- Church religio-pol system : well orga structure, has pol influence. Eg. Catholicism/
it is a “religio-political mvmnt in which religionwas integral to the state and soc”. On
one hand the islamic faith and the clergy have legitimized the state; and at the same time,
pol leadership has rec the supremacy of Islamic law; the Sharia.
the concept of seperation of church and politics is alien to most islamic nations
three types of Islamic regimes :
- secular state : turkey; offers islam no special status
- islamic state : base their gov philo on the Koran/islamic law; Iran, Saudi Arabia
- Muslim state : intermediate position; id islam as off religion, and head has to be
muslim. But impact of religion is far more limited; Morroco, Egypt
popes have pol influence : pope john paul II known for stance against communism/ autho
regimes. Pope benedict XVI : contro statement regarding muslim rel and campaign against
church doctrine has generally supported the esta pol regime and helped legi it.
Catholic authorities have opposed military dictatorships in Brazil.
it has no formal pol voice.
B differs from H in that it has an orga ecclesiastical orga, maed the SHANGHA. B is less
eastern religions are less theo inclined to pol inv than C/ I .
5. religious fundamentalism and Islamism
western writers often exaggerate the nature of the “islamic threat”. Many seem unaware of
the long tradition of LIBERAL THEOLOGY within Islam; which has advocated rel tolerance,
progress for women, and demo values.
although I may facilitate terro ideology, Al Qaeda and other funda grps are motivated by
nationalist opposition to Western intervention in the region, not by religion.
A. definiing and explaining Fundamentalism
DEF : effort to define the fundamentals of a religious system and adhere to them.
in the dev world, F appeals to pp disgusted by inequalities/ injustices.
Eg. Lebanon ; Hezbollah (Party of God) grew out of a Shi‟I resentment against the eco
powerful christian comm + anger against israel and West.
Islamists seek to re-create a future based on a romanticized notion oa largely
mythical golden age”.
Radical funda tend to be nationalistic/ chauvinistic rejecting outside influence.
a lot of countries have promoted a Western-style modernization as the route to eco
modernization (Egypt, Iran). Byt after decades they felt deceived, and have looked elsewhere
for answers.
most powerful force behind radical I funda, more than religious faith, is nationalism and
resentment against W backed dictatorships.
B. Fundamentalists : Radical and Conservative
- RADICAL : feel that they are conducting a holy war against enemies that threaten to
corrupt their rel values. (eg. hezbollah)
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