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Interdisciplinary Learning Courses

World’s Religions

World’s Religions World’s Religions
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Interdisciplinary Learning CoursesWorld’s Religions

How religions shape world’s societies and political structures

Religion plays an important role for millions of people across the globe. The different religious beliefs have – or have had – an important influence over societies’ customs, identities and political structures, also in the way they establish relations with the rest of the world. In that sense, this course introduces the student to the main religions of the planet, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddism but also other religions.

The objective is to know the key aspects of those beliefs and assess why they have shaped differently – or not so – societies and what are the geopolitical implications of this phenonmenon. In addition, the second part of the course looks at specific societal issues such as globalization, migration, violence, gender, popular culture or climate change and how they are related to religion.

Learning Objectives

  • 1. Learn about the history of religions across the world and their mechanisms to shape societies, cultures and political structures.
  • 2. Study the geopolitical implications of today’s religious realities.
  • 3. Know the key aspects of the main religious beliefs in the world, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddism and other religions.
  • 4. Assess the impact of religion in societal issues such as globalization, migration, violence, gender, popular culture or climate change.
  • 5. Develop a critical approach to debate about religion and its relation with sociology, politics or international relations.

Contents of the Subject

World’s Religions

  • 1. Presentation of the course
    • 2. Religion in Huntington’s “clash of civilisations”
    • 3. The Christendom and the role of religion in European/Western identity
    • 4. Orthodoxy and other religions in Eastern Europe and Russia
    • 5. The diverse Islamic World
    • 6. Judaism: the state of Israel and Jewish realities across the world
    • 7. Hinduism and other religions in India and South East Asia
    • 8. Buddism and other religions in East Asia
    • 9. Other beliefs in Latin America, Africa and Oceania
    • 10. Religion, globalization and migration
    • 11. Religion and violence
    • 12. Religion and gender
    • 13. Religion and popular culture
    • 14. Religion and sustainable development and climate change
    • 15. Secularisation


Eduardo García Profesor de World’s Religions

Eduardo García Cancela

Eduardo García Cancela is a PhD candidate in Political Science, Public Administration and International Relations at Complutense University of Madrid. His current doctoral research focuses on the implementation of the European Union’s foreign policy strategy in the Eastern neighbourhood and its consistency with the promotion of EU’s norms and values. He is part of the 2020/2021 cohort of scholars from Europaeum, a network of European universities led by the University of Oxford. In addition, he collaborates with the Spanish section of Reporters Without Borders and with the Spanish Federal Council of the European Movement.
Previously, he completed a double undergraduate degree in Journalism and International Relations at Nebrija University (2017) and a Master of Arts in European Interdisciplinary Studies at the College of Europe in Natolin, Warsaw (2019). During his undergraduate studies he was an exchange international student at San Diego State University (California, US) and worked as an intern at the departments of International Relations and Communication in Correos (the Spanish postal service) and in the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C., US. In 2018 he worked in the Secretariat of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) in Brussels.