Fall 2011 not offered
AMST 236, RELI 285|
This lecture/discussion course offers sustained analysis of a selected topic central to an intellectual history of the United States. In exploring the role of religion in the intellectual life of the nation, we will examine both the work of American theologians and the ways that other American intellectuals have thought about religion and its function as a language of authority in both state and society. We will further explore the ramifications of conceptions of the United States as a Protestant and millennial nation and the challenges to that conception posed by the growing diversity of religions in the country. The variety of spiritual practices and the clashes between religion and science generated debates that continue to haunt the study of religion. From participation in a transatlantic evangelical culture to the rise of the Social Gospel and theological modernism through the fundamentalist response to liberal religion and Darwinism, the course charts the influence of Protestant Christianity in American culture and evaluates claims about the development of a distinctively American religious style. The replacement of overt anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism with the notion of a Judeo-Christian heritage that celebrated the incorporation of Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish traditions into American civil religion figures as the central dynamic of the 20th century. The course concludes with a consideration of the culture's surprising resistance to the secularist tendencies of most other Western powers and the continuing centrality of religion(s) in the national culture.
Among other matters, this course examines the varied ways in which American intellectuals and political leaders utilized religious languages of authority in their constructions of a national culture and deployed religion as the foundation for both public and personal morality.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(HIST-MN)(RELI)(SISP-Hist Conc)(SISP-Reli Conc)
Tracy Fessenden, Culture and Redemption
Christine Heyrman, THE SOUTHERN CROSS
David Kaufman, SHUL WITH A POOL
Edward Larson, SUMMER FOR THE GODS
Robert Orsi, Between Heaven and Earth
Ann Taves, Fits, Trances, and Religion
Leigh Schmidt, Hearing Things
|Examination and Assignments: |
Two short papers, mid-term exam, and final paper. Participation in class discussion.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course may be repeated for credit a second time so long as the selected topic for the semester is different each time.
This course fulfills the "Thematic Approach" OR "Historical Tradition" requirement for the Religion Department.
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
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