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Free Online Course on Religion, Conflict and Peace at Harvard University

Harvard University is delighted to offer Free Online Course on Religion, Conflict, and Peace. The course is open to all and especially relevant for aspiring or professional educators, journalists, public health workers, Foreign Service officers, and government officials who wish to better understand how religions function in contemporary world affairs.

In this course, students will explore a series of contemporary conflicts in different regions of the world with a special focus on identifying and analyzing the diverse and complex roles that religions play in both promoting and mitigating violence in each context.

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Course At a Glance

Length: 8 weeks
Effort: 4-8 hours pw
Subject: Humanities
Institution: Harvard University
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $50USD
Session: Self-Paced

Providers’ Details

Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. Harvard faculties are engaged with teaching and research to push the boundaries of human knowledge. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000-degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world.

About This Course

In this course, Students will learn a method for recognizing and analyzing how religious ideologies are embedded in all areas of human agency and not isolated from political, economic, and cultural life as is often assumed.

In addition to examining the conflicts themselves, we will also explore the religious dimensions of the impacts those conflicts have on civic life in areas such as public health, education, and commerce by addressing a series of questions.

  • What roles do religions play in fostering violence and what roles do they play in promoting peace?
  • How do religious institutions and ideologies function to support and/or thwart public health initiatives?
  • What are the ideological justifications for functional economic policies and how do they reflect and/or challenge diverse religious values?
  • What roles do religions play in advancing or suppressing educational opportunities and for whom?
  • Are media representations of the religious dimensions of conflict accurate?

Possible countries of focus include Brazil, Egypt, France, Israel/Palestine, Myanmar, Nigeria, Qatar, the Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Turkey, and the United States. Final projects will be individually shaped based on interest and (where relevant) professional focus.

This course follows the popular World Religions through Their Scriptures XSeries, which explores the foundations of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.

Learning Outcomes

  • Tools for how to interpret the roles religions play in contemporary conflicts;
  • How religions are internally diverse;
  • How religions evolve and change;
  • How religions are embedded in all human cultures;

Instructors

Diane L. Moore is a Senior Lecturer and the Director of the Religious Literacy Project at the Harvard Divinity School. She is also a Senior Scholar at the Center for the Study of World Religions.

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once the applicant signs up for a course and activates their account, click on the login button on the org homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

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