Communication and Culture | Study of Public Advocacy: Preaching in the Public Sphere
C406 | 1174 | George LaMaster


Recall the political controversy surrounding the phrase “under
God” in the Pledge of Allegiance or the public display of the Ten
Commandments.  Civil religion refers the complex web of myths,
rituals, and beliefs about the sacred that are reflected in public
discourse.  This class examines the role of religious language in
public advocacy.  Sometimes politicians sound like preachers.
Sometimes religious leaders get involved in politics.  We will
critique contemporary examples of preaching in the public sphere
ranging from Pat Robertson to Bishop Robinson.  We will investigate
topics such as the roots of American civil religion in Judeo-Christian
traditions, the relationship between civil religion and American
identity, and the challenge of respecting religious pluralism in
public debate.