Course Description

470.658 - Religion and American Political Culture

The relationship between religion and politics in the American context is one of peculiar complexity in the American context. This course has 3 main objectives: 1) to examine in general terms the role of religion in American public and political life as reflected in the debates concerning the use of religious symbolism and discourse in the public sphere; 2) to analyze how religiously informed moral argument has helped to shape public debate on key issues of public policy including the issues of civil rights, abortion, war and peace, and economic policy; and 3) to provide the necessary historical and philosophical context to help understand the present day intersection of religion and politics, and to see how previous generations of Americans approached similar problems.