345-HSB-VA, Anarchy and Religion
This course explores the ethically charged world of anarchy and anarchists and aims to discover what this world has in common with religious beliefs. Anarchist doctrines espouse certain fundamental tenets of human social life, many of which are reflected to greater and lesser degrees in religious beliefs. Both worlds, for example, emphasize a rejection democratic politics, and both devalue excessive accumulations of wealth for individuals. Both reject the political order for a world that is structured on the serious pursuit of ideals and truth. A number of influential anarchist thinkers were bathed in some form of religious upbringing or teaching. Contrasting these and other ethical ideas, we seek to understand what anarchy has in common with religious beliefs and behaviours, as well as how and why anarchists themselves differ and detract from religious authority? Why, with so much in common, do these groups vehemently oppose each other?