Religious Studies | Religion and American Culture
R160 | 27790 | B. Bayne

Above class carries COLL A & H distribution credit
Visitors to this country have argued that America is an
especially “religious” place.  From De Tocqueville to Christopher
Hitchens, this country’s peculiar religiousness has both charmed and
repulsed these foreign observers.  But, few agree about the precise
relationship between these two ideas, these entities we
call “Religion” and “America.”  In this course we will examine
religious life and culture in America (defined broadly), asking how
various religions influence American culture and how, in turn,
American culture shapes historical and contemporary religious
practice.  Specifically, we will look at religiously inflected
understandings of encounter, revival, reform, race, and modernity.
We will make use of documents, art, music, television, film, as well
as field visits.  Through these means we will encounter historic and
contemporary forms of Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and
indigenous perspectives, along with interreligious dialogue and
secular critiques.