American Studies | Special Topics in A&H for AMST / Topic: Christianity & Democracy in the Americas
A298 | 28270 | Kevin O'Neill
(3 cr. hrs.) A & H Jointly Offered with REL-R202
What are the historical and cultural relationships that exist
between Christianity and democracy throughout the Americas?
This course surveys some of the more important (and contentious)
links between Christianity and democratization in the United States
as well as in Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and
Nicaragua. These points of contact will include the notion that the
United States is a “chosen nation,” as well as the role of North
American Christianity in the liberalization of Latin America in the
19th Century. The course will also address Latin American liberation
theology as well as the Christian underpinnings of the United
States’ civil rights movements. Given that the course will take
place during a campaign year, students will be asked to assess the
religious tone that contemporary presidential hopefuls strike in
light of, for example, the anxieties that surrounded John F.
Kennedy’s Catholicism in the 1960s and George W. Bush’s commitment
to evangelical Christianity.