Is religion a force for good or for evil in society? Does it promote peace or is it more often a catalyst for warfare and violence? The issue has been hotly contested for centuries and seems even more urgent in our current epoch of terrorism and vocal fundamentalism. The debate swirls around us and touches on countless issues including cults, abortion, terrorism, religious wars and persecution, religious freedoms and liberation, and, of course, creationism vs. evolution. In fact, recent and very popular new atheists have proclaimed religion as one of the world’s great evils. Yet others have argued that religion historically (and even today) is one of the main forces for social cohesion and the promotion of non-violence. This course puts religion on trial, examining evidence on both sides, drawing on evolution, history, sociology, psychology, and politics. And while students may reach no decisive conclusion on these issues, they will be better equipped to critically engage in this utterly inescapable conversation.