Thursday, December 8, 2011


This was the last day of Religion: Conflict, Violence, and Peacemaking. I honestly have to say that this was probably the best course I have taken at Dickinson to date. Not only did a learn a lot, I also have valuable insight an tools to start further pursuing conflict studies; and this goes well with my focus on international politics.

I have learned so much from this course whether its the nature of religion, how religion interacts with conflict, how it can further conflict, how it ties into psychology and identity, and concrete ways to bring people back together. I have also have in-depth knowledge of the Breivik bombings in Norway, and it is a far more complex conflict than meets the eye. It is important for anyone who's looking at Europe to understand the Breivik case, as it is sure to be a recurring theme in the coming years due to globalization.

Though this course is just an introduction, I intend on further pursuing this. Wanting to go into international relations and national security, I think this fits well. It also has opened my eyes to the deeper nature of some of the world's most complex problems, and has effectively shown me the errors in analyzing conflicts in a purely secular lens.

Though religion is often not the causes of the conflict, it plays a defining role in them. In order to solve the problem, one has to understand every dimension of it. Often, and I was guilty of it, we overlook an important and defining factor in reason's behind why people chose to do certain actions; the role of their spirituality.

This course has opened new lanes for me, including potentially going to grad school for conflict management. Who knows, maybe this is what I'll end up doing. Politics and International relations don't stop at the state level, as I have been shown.

Thank you Prof. Staub, Ill be taking another course with you next year.


  1. wow Hills, maybe you could learn Arabic and get grad school paid for and follow in the footsteps of Staub. But I agree, great class that opened a lot of doors of knowledge

  2. maybe i will Halvorson. We'll see who becomes the next Staub.