Modern political theory surveys the works of European political theorists who wrote between the 1600s and the early 1900s. Through readings and discussions, students will explore the major questions asked by the political thinkers of the Modern Era. The course will cover topics such as rationality and how it applies to politics; how property developed into such a powerful concept in Western political thought; the nature of leadership, and whether citizens should study what they say, what they do, or both. Students will examine the relationship between church and state, between religious faith and politics, and will explore the concept of "a state of nature" and why it matters in political thought.