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Ethics, Religion, and International Politics (IN600)

Course Spotlight

About this course

Erik Owens, associate director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life and adjunct assistant professor of theology and international studies, encourages students in this class to examine the role of religion in international politics and of ethical approaches to international affairs. Special emphasis is given to religion as a source of conflict; religious communities as transnational agents for justice, protection of human rights, and peace; the historical development and contemporary formulations of ethical norms for the use of force; and ethical and religious contributions to reconciliation and solidarity.

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In this short clip—taped during a class on October 17, 2011—Prof. Owens leads a discussion on whether the U.S. can and should promote religious freedom throughout the world. (Student comments have been omitted.) Watch entire class

about the professor

Erik Owens is associate director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life and adjunct assistant professor of theology and international studies at Boston College. His research explores a variety of intersections between religion and public life, with particular attention to the challenge of fostering the common good of a religiously diverse society. He is the co-editor of three books: Gambling: Mapping the American Moral Landscape (2009); Religion and the Death Penalty: A Call for Reckoning (2004); and The Sacred and the Sovereign: Religion and International Politics (2003). He received his Ph.D. in religious ethics from the University of Chicago, an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from Duke University.



Prof. Owens introduces himself and talks about his academic background, teaching history, and research interests.