Spring 2008

Religion, Democracy and American Culture

Listed in: American Studies, as AMST-12


Francis G. Couvares (Sections 01 and 02)
Karen J. Sanchez-Eppler (Sections 01 and 02)


The United States has inscribed the separation of church and state into its constitutional order, and yet Americans have for two centuries been more deeply committed to religious faith and practice than any other people in the Western world. This course endeavors to explore that paradox. Topics addressed include the changing meanings of "the city on a hill"; the varieties of millennial belief and utopian community; the relationship between religion and ethnicity; religious political activism from abolition to prohibition to anti-abortion; and the limits of religious tolerance from movements against Catholics and Mormons to recent warnings of a "clash of civilizations" with Muslim cultures. Limited to 20 students per section. Second semester. Professors Couvares and Sanchez-Eppler.