(Summer 2012) RELS 162: Religion & Political Controversy in the U.S.
Time: MW, 9:00 am - 1:10 pm
Location: Clark 204
In this intensive summer session course, we will examine controversies surrounding the intersection of religion and politics in U.S. history, within the context of America’s diverse & dynamic cultural & religious landscape. We will give particular attention to minority and dissenting points of view within the broader American religious narrative. In so doing, we will put contemporary religious and political controversies in historical/cultural context and think critically about current/recent events and debates. Specific topics we will explore (among others) include: religious views on: gender & sexuality (including same-sex marriage & abortion); race, ethnicity & economic issues; populism (including the occupy movement & the tea party); evolution, creationism & intelligent design; nature & ecology; pacifism and war; the death penalty; terrorism; atheism.
Syllabus posted below.
Online Readings & Resources
Links to online readings & required online video posted below.
- Barbara McGraw, “Introduction to America’s Sacred Ground,” From Taking Religious Pluralism Seriously [PDF]
- U.S. Constitution
- Bill of Rights
- Amendments 11-27
- Pew Religious Landscape Survey: (1) Religious Affiliation
- Pew Religious Landscape Survey: (2) Religious Beliefs and Practices/Social & Political Views
- Robert Bellah, “Civil Religion in America.”
- Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address
- Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life: U.S. Religious Landscape Survey (General Overview & Main Site)
- PBS Series: God in America
- "What Martin Luther King Actually Did"
- "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack"
- ONE MORE: Barack Obama's Speech on Race (2008)
Links to course assignments posted below.
- Take Home Quiz One (DUE 6/11) [PDF]
- Media Presentation (DUE 6/18) [PDF]
- Take Home Quiz Two (DUE 6/20) [PDF]
- Take Home Quiz Three (DUE 6/25) [PDF]
- Final Research & Analysis Paper (DUE 7/2) [PDF]
- FINAL EXAM STUDY GUIDE [PDF]