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Lorraine and Tom Pangle, Co-Directors BAT 2.116, C4100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-6648

Giorgi Areshidze

Postdoctoral Fellow PhD, The University of Texas at Austin

Jefferson Center Postdoctoral Fellow

CTI 335 • Religion And The Liberal State

33132 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm PAR 301
(also listed as GOV 335M )
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Giorgi Areshidze

Course Description 

What is the appropriate relationship between religion and politics?  What role should theology have in a society that aspires to be free and moral but also tolerant of religious differences?  The first half of the course explores the defense of religious liberty in Locke and Spinoza, and contrasts it to the secular case for state religious establishment in Hobbes and Hume.  In the second half of the semester, using Tocqueville and Hume, we apply and illustrate this debate through a historically-informed examination of the emergence of toleration in America and in post-Reformation Europe.  Major themes include modern rationalism and revelation, natural rights and liberties and their relation to Christianity, freedom of thought and conscience, and religious and secular bases of morality.  Throughout the course, we will reflect on the costs and benefits of the competing strategies for religious reform—religious liberty vs. religious establishment—within liberal and illiberal societies.


Hobbes, Leviathan, ed. Curley (Hackett Publishing Company , 1994), ISBN 0872201775

Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration, ed. Tully (Hackett Publishing Company, 1983), ISBN 091514560X

Spinoza, Theological-Political Treatise, Shirley (Hacket Publishing Company, 2001), ISBN 0872206076

Tocqueville, Democracy in America, ed. Mansfield and Winthrop (University Of Chicago Press, 2002), ISBN 0226805360

Course Pack with selections from Hume and recommended readings

Grading Policy 

Attendance, Quizzes, Class Participation: 20%; Midterm: 25%; 5-7 Page Paper 25%; Final Exam 30%

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