Religious Studies | Religion and American Culture
R160 | 20059 | Staff


How does religion influence American culture, and how does American
culture shape religion? We will answer this question by reading and
discussing novels, correspondence, laws, autobiographies, and
ethnographies; by viewing movies, television, art, and cartoons; by
listening to music; and even by eating food! The goal of this course
is to provide an engaging, accessible introduction to how religion
and American culture have intertwined, both historically and in the
present, while developing skills in critical thinking, written and
oral communication, and analysis of documents that will help
students to prepare for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses
and for careers in a variety of professions, including business,
law, medicine, and education. The course is organized thematically,
chronologically, and by religious tradition. Topics include the
Separation of Church and State in Early America; Religion and
Popular Culture in Postmodern America; Religion and Slavery in
Antebellum America; Religion and Social Justice in Industrial
America; Religion and Race in Urban America; and Religion and
Immigrant Cultures in Modernizing America. We will focus on
Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam, but other traditions
will also be mentioned.