American Christianities: What do Christians Want?|
|Course Cluster and Certificates: Christianity Studies|
The course explores various forms of contemporary Christianity in the United States and focuses on the ambitions that guide Christian practices. One guiding question we will ask is, "What do American Christians want?" More converts? Social justice? Salvation? Money? A Christian nation? We will interrogate how ideals of salvation, justice, nationhood, and the family shape Christian social action. Religion is not only what groups think and believe, but also what they do. We will examine why Christians form separatist movements, fund global humanitarian efforts, travel on international missions, use digital media, support anti-abortion activism, and more. By considering a wide variety of Christian groups, we will critically evaluate the diverse social imaginaries, theological frameworks, and historical foundations that shape contemporary U.S. Christianities. This course uses methods from sociology, history, and anthropology. We will critically engage media produced by Christian practitioners.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
||Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Maurice Wiles, "What Christians Believe," in THE OXFORD ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY, 1990.
Omri Elisha, MORAL AMBITION: MOBILIZATION AND SOCIAL OUTREACH IN EVANGELICAL MEGACHURCHES. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011.
Birgit Meyer, "Religious Sensations. Why Media, Aesthetics and Power Matter in the Study of Contemporary Religion" (Presentation, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, October 6, 2006).
Bethany Moreton, TO SERVE GOD AND WALMART: THE MAKING OF CHRISTIAN FREE ENTERPRISE. Harvard U Press, 2010.
Cristina Rocha, "Cool Christianity: The Fashion-Celebrity-Megachurch Industrial Complex," Material Religion 17, no. 5 (2021): 580-602.
R. Marie Griffith, MORAL COMBAT: HOW SEX DIVIDED AMERICAN CHRISTIANS AND FRACTURED AMERICAN POLITICS New York: Basic Books, 2017.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Weekly Response papers, active participation in discussion, one class opening presentation, two 5-page essays and and a final Wikipedia entry are the course requirements.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course fulfills the "Historical Traditions" and "Thematic Approach" requirements for the Religion major.
|Instructor(s): McAlister,Elizabeth Times: ..T.R.. 02:50PM-04:10PM; Location: TBA|
|Total Enrollment Limit: 19||SR major: 6||JR major: 8|| || |
|Seats Available: 7||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 0||JR non-major: 0||SO: 5||FR: 0|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 3||1st Ranked: 0||2nd Ranked: 0||3rd Ranked: 2||4th Ranked: 1||Unranked: 0|