Spring 2009

Religion, Democracy and American Culture

Listed in: American Studies, as AMST-12


Francis G. Couvares (Section 01)
Allen Guttmann (Section 02)
Karen J. Sanchez-Eppler (Section 03)


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. Spring semester. Professor Couvares. Professor Guttmann. Professor Sanchez-Eppler.