History | Mapping Contemporary American Religion
J300 | 23333 | Linenthal

Above class open to majors only
Above class COLL intensive writing section
Above class open to undergraduates only

This course will offer students an opportunity to examine case
studies in different categories of religious experience and
expression, e.g., domestic religion, public religion, popular
religion, "new" religion, apocalyptic religion, material religion,
urban religion. There will be a heavy reading schedule, and students
will be expected to prepare readings before attending class in order
to contribute substantively to class conversation. In addition to
reading, course participation and regular attendance, students will
keep a semester-long intellectual journal (details will be given in
class). Students will also write a religious history of their family
(again, details will be given in class).  Texts will include: Paul
Boyer, “When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern
American Culture”; H.G. Bissinger, “Friday Night Lights: A Town, A
Team, and A Dream”; James Tabor and Eugene Gallagher, “Why Waco?:
Cults and the Battle for Religious Freedom in America”; selections
from Edward Linenthal, “Sacred Ground: Americans and Their
Battlefields”; Robert Orsi, ed., “Gods of the City: Religion and the
American Urban Landscape”; Robert Orsi, “Between Heaven and Earth:
The Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars Who Study Them”;
Colleen McDannell, “Material Christianity: Religion and Popular
Culture in America”; Ira Chernus, “Dr. Strangegod: On the Symbolic
Meaning of Nuclear Weapons”; David Chidester, “Authentic Fakes:
Religion and American Popular Culture.”  Other readings will appear
in the course outline.