Mar 30, 2020  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

RS 233 - American Religious History (3)

This course examines religious experience within the context of the United States. Rather than attempt to cover all religious groups in a chronological approach, we will focus on a variety of religious groups that helped shape, influence, and build the nation over the last four centuries. We will examine the contributions and belief systems of white Protestants and Catholics, Native Americans, African-Americans, Hispanics, as well as other lesser-known groups such as Shakers, Mormons, and Christian Scientists, among others. We will also briefly explore late 20th and early 21st Century faith groups that grew out of the American mainstream and serve as alternatives to traditional religious organizations. Finally, we will survey the more recent influx of Eastern religious traditions into the U.S. This course is particularly concerned with the interaction of religion and American culture attempting to answer such questions as: What role has religion played in the shaping of our diverse culture? What forces, secular and religious, led to the development of a religiously pluralistic society? How have the American peoples expressed their religious beliefs through communal patterns, behavior, institutions, and rituals? What does it mean to be religious and how is faith related to components of individual, communal, and nationalistic experience? Finally, how have transnational faith communities influenced and been influenced by U.S. culture in the 21st Century? PRE-2015 CORE: Level II. 2015 CORE: Belief & Reason, Transform.