Aristotle believed that man is naturally a political animal because he is a social being with the power of speech and moral reasoning. We also have the ability to learn, to gain knowledge, and to persuade others to our way of thinking – whether reasonable or not, whether based on fact or faith.
Perhaps because of this, as long as human beings have existed, they have practiced both religion and politics. It was Albert Einstein who said, “Those who believe that politics and religion do not mix, understand neither.” Religion and politics have been interconnected in societies and countries throughout the ages, and this is certainly true of the Middle East, especially in modern times.
In Israel, a country where the three monotheistic religions have existed side-by-side for centuries, religion and politics are intricately entwined and have turned it into a global hero or villain depending on people’s perspectives.
MA in Religious and Middle Eastern Politics
Bar-Ilan University’s International School and the Department of Political Studies have launched a new online Master’s degree in Religious and Middle Eastern Politics, which will be taught entirely in English.
According to Prof. Jonathan Fox, head of the new MA, the program has been in development for about two years. “We felt our department had much to offer international students, especially on the topics of religious politics and Middle Eastern politics, which is why we have been working with the International School to move it forward,” he said when asked why this degree was developed.
Prof. Jonathan Fox, Head of the MA in Religious and Middle Eastern Politics Program
“Given the current situation with COVID-19 and international travel, we decided to provide the MA entirely online for the first year. We would obviously prefer the program to be in person, but we could not be sure it would be possible to run it on campus with everything that’s going on. We hope this will change for the 2022-2023 academic year, but we will need to re-evaluate it when the time comes to make that decision,” Prof. Fox said.
Why this Degree at this University?
“Bar-Ilan University has a concentration of some of the world’s leading experts on religion and politics and Middle Eastern politics and also houses the extremely influential Religion and State Project, said Prof. Fox. “This is why we chose these topics as the focus of our MA program.
“In addition, there is no similar program with this subject matter and concentration of experts in the world. It is a unique degree and students interested in the Middle East and religious politics will gain enormously from this MA,” he said.
Books written by faculty members, some of which are used in the Master’s program
The Department of Political Studies also operates several leading research institutes, including the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies, one of the leading, most influential institutions in all matters regarding foreign affairs and national security; and the Argov Center for the Study of Israel and the Jewish People.
This two-year, challenging and engaging MA program will provide students with a deep academic grounding in religious and Middle Eastern politics as well as in general political science.
The Greek author, Aesop, said, “Every truth has two sides; it is as well to look at both before we commit ourselves to either.”
Let us help you look at all sides so you’re able to choose your path with confidence.
Virtual Open Day
Find out about this new two-year, online MA in Religious and Middle Eastern Politics during our upcoming open day on Thursday, June 17, 2021, at 19:00 Israel time / 18:00 CET / 17:00 BST / 9:00 PDT / 12:00 EDT). Others can check the time in their country here.