Religious Studies | Jews, Christians, Muslims
R152 | 9418 | Carr

“Jews, Christians, Muslims” provides a history of the development of religious thought and
practice in these monotheistic traditions. This course will focus on Christianity, Judaism,
and Islam in their American historical context, with a brief introduction to the basic tenets
of each tradition. We will ask questions about how these groups form and understand their
own identities and their relationship to the American nation. How do members of each
tradition see themselves as part of American culture? How has each group established and
institutionalized itself? How do they relate to the mainstream and to minority cultures? Do
they see their own histories as integrated with or separate from a larger American history?
How have issues of gender affected the varieties of practice within each tradition? What can
we learn about popular religious practice by studying material culture?

Our objective is to understand religion as changing over time, interacting with other
historical and socio-cultural influences, to think about and discuss religion as a scholar, or
in a non-religious way, and to practice analytical thinking and writing. In addition to
reading from the textbook, primary sources, and academic articles, we will view several
films in class. We will ask questions about the practice and representation of religion in
these films.