Religion and global politics

Level 6 - DT3045

This course begins with the study of various models of how states structure their relationship with religion, such as the established church and the separation of church and state.

It examines how the political motivations of religious people can shape a range of political issues, from the anti-apartheid movement of the late 20th century to terrorism today, and takes a fully global perspective to consider the roles of religions in large scale issues of conflict, peace, and democratization.

Topics covered

  • Introduction to religion and global politics

Section A: Religion-state relations

  • Religion and state in Europe
  • Religion and state in the United States
  • Religion and state in India and China

Section B: Political engagement and activism

  • Religion in 20th century political movements
  • Islam in Europe
  • Religion and politics in a global city

 Section C: Global conflict, peace and democracy

  • The clash of civilizations
  • The changing politics of global Christianity
  • Religion and democracy


Forum participation (10%); a two thousand word essay (40%) and a 1.5-hour written examination (50%).

Tutor in Religion and Global Politics

Dr Stephen Kapinde - Divinity tutor

Dr Stephen Kapinde

Stephen Kapinde is a Franz Humer scholar with a PhD in Theology from the University of Basel. His doctoral thesis on Church and State Relations in Post-Colonial Kenya (1963-2012) won the Faculty of Theology award as the best dissertation of the 2019 academic year. He has taught Religion and Politics both in Africa and Europe. Kapinde is interested in religion and politics, public and pulpit theologies, reconciliation, Counter-violent extremism and Church history. Currently, he is working on Reconciliation in Post-Conflict societies as part of his post-doctoral research project.