The Great Awokening:
Politics as the New Religion

An exploration of modern tribalism.

About the Course

The Great Awokening: Politics as the New Religion is a four-week course that illuminates our political moment by exploring how religion, politics, wild theories, and human self-awareness now intermesh.

Over the past few years, politics has become particularly extreme. Elements of the Left have shifted further leftward, especially on cultural and racial issues, in what has been dubbed The Great Awokening.

Elements of the Right have similarly stumbled their way into more divisive views, showing obsession with Q-anon conspiracies and cultish devotion to figures like Trump.

These modern tribes act in quasi-religious ways despite prevailing secularism, which begs the questions:
  • In what ways are these movements expressions of religious impulse, or perhaps, something darker?
  • Is this occurring despite, or because of, a lack of traditional religion?
  • To what extent are activists (perhaps unknowingly) drawing on Christian theological assumptions?
  • Can humans transcend prevailing religious impulses, or are they too deeply ingrained in us?
  • What does this all mean for the human condition?
These are but some of the questions that the class instructor and renowned religious scholar Dr Christopher Hartney will explore in this course.

With help from selected readings of Émile Durkheim, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Peter Sloterdijk and others, Christopher will help you better understand the sometimes hidden influence of the tribal, the magical, the mythic and the religious on human nature and modern politics.

About the Course

The Great Awokening: Politics as the New Religion is a four-week course that illuminates our political moment by exploring how religion, politics, wild theories, and human self-awareness now intermesh.

Over the past few years, politics has become particularly extreme. Elements of the Left have shifted further leftward, especially on cultural and racial issues, in what has been dubbed The Great Awokening.

Elements of the Right have similarly stumbled their way into more divisive views, showing obsession with Q-anon conspiracies and cultish devotion to figures like Trump.

These modern tribes act in quasi-religious ways despite prevailing secularism, which begs the questions…
  • In what ways are these movements expressions of religious impulse, or perhaps, something darker?
  • Is this occurring despite, or because of, a lack of traditional religion?
  • To what extent are activists (perhaps unknowingly) drawing on Christian theological assumptions?
  • Can humans transcend prevailing religious impulses, or are they too deeply ingrained in us?
  • What does this all mean for the human condition?
These are but some of the questions that the class instructor and renowned religious scholar Dr Christopher Hartney will explore in this course.

With help from selected readings of Émile Durkheim, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Peter Sloterdijk and others, Christopher will help you better understand the sometimes hidden influence of the tribal, the magical, the mythic and the religious on human nature and modern politics.

About your instructor

Dr Christopher Hartney

Christopher Hartney is a senior lecturer in the Department of Studies in Religion at the University of Sydney where he studies and teaches the myths of modernity, religion and violence, civil religion, and new religious systems.

Course structure

The course consists of four 90-minute classes and takes place in our virtual classroom over Zoom.

It is a live and interactive course, which features:
  • Assigned readings,
  • Live lectures,
  • Live Q&A sessions with the instructor,
  • and Zoom breakout rooms with your intellectually curious classmates.
Discussion spaces are available via private Discord channels.

To maintain an optimal learning environment, class sizes are limited to 30 people — so be quick in securing your spot!

What You'll Learn

Religion

Descriptions of traditional religions and their shared themes.

Left-Wing Religion

Exploration of The Great Awokening.

Right-Wing Religion

Exploration of conspiracy theories, ideologies, and personality cults.

The Future of Religion

Will humans always have the religious impulse? If so, what does this mean for the human condition?

Religion

Descriptions of traditional religions and their shared themes.

Left-Wing Religion

Exploration of The Great Awokening.

Right-Wing Religion

Exploration of conspiracy theories, ideologies, and personality cults.

The Future of Religion

Will humans always have the religious impulse? If so, what does this mean for the human condition?

Religion

Descriptions of traditional religions and their shared themes.

Left-Wing Religion

Exploration of The Great Awokening.

Right-Wing Religion

Exploration of conspiracy theories, ideologies, and personality cults.

The Future of Religion

Will humans always have the religious impulse? If so, what does this mean for the human condition?

Course dates

August 2021

Class Dates

All classes run from 6.00 PM AEST to 7.30 PM AEST
• Week 1: Thu 05 August, 2021
• Week 2: Thu 12 August , 2021
• Week 3: Thu 19 August, 2021
• Week 4: Thu 26 August, 2021

Tickets Sold:
12 tickets left 60%
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September 2021

Class Dates

All classes run from 7.00 PM AEST to 8.30 PM AEST
• Week 1: Wed 08 September, 2021
• Week 2: Wed 15 September, 2021
• Week 3: Wed 22 September, 2021
• Week 4: Wed 29 September, 2021

Tickets Sold:
18 tickets left 40%
Pay With:

August 2021

Class Dates

All classes run from 6.00 PM AEST to 7.30 PM AEST

• Week 1: Thu 05 Aug, 2021
• Week 2: Thu 12 Aug , 2021
• Week 3: Thu 19 Aug, 2021
• Week 4: Thu 26 Aug, 2021

Tickets Sold:
12 tickets left 60%
Pay With:

September 2021

Class Dates

All classes run from 7.00 PM AEST to 8.30 PM AEST

• Week 1: Wed 08 Sep, 2021
• Week 2: Wed 15 Sep, 2021
• Week 3: Wed 22 Sep, 2021
• Week 4: Wed 29 Sep, 2021

Tickets Sold:
40%
Pay With:

August 2021

Class Dates

All classes run from 6.00 PM AEST to 7.30 PM AEST

• Wk 1: Thu 05 Aug, 2021
• Wk 2: Thu 12 Aug , 2021
• Wk 3: Thu 19 Aug, 2021
• Wk 4: Thu 26 Aug, 2021

Tickets Sold:
12 tix left 60%

September 2021

Class Dates

All classes run from 7.00 PM AEST to 8.30 PM AEST

• Wk 1: Wed 08 Sep, 2021
• Wk 2: Wed 15 Sep, 2021
• Wk 3: Wed 22 Sep, 2021
• Wk 4: Wed 29 Sep, 2021

Tickets Sold:
40%

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