Over the past three decades, religion has made an impressive return to the public sphere, playing a prominent role in local, national, and international politics around the globe. Despite the decline of traditional forms of organized religiosity observed in many places, religious organizations continue to shape public values and debates to an extent that would have been difficult to imagine fifty years ago. Around the world, policy makers are increasingly confronted with the activities and demands of religious groups. These new challenges require a new knowledge about the organizational form, conduct, and the convictions of religious actors, their attitudes toward public authorities and their political conduct. This course will discuss the significance of these developments and provide basic knowledge about relevant religious groups. Class discussions will be organized around five major themes: 1) Religion and Government, 2) Human Rights & Civil Society, 3) Religion and Economy, 4) Religion and Violence, 5) Religion and Education.