GOV 335M • 5 - Religion in American Political Thought
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Religion in politics is an emotional issue for believers and nonbelievers alike, but the purpose of this course is to help you think beyond the slogans. We will be studying a large number of sources, mostly brief, almost all primary, from the colonial period right up to the "culture wars." Some sources discuss issues like whether faith should be enforced and whether revolution is consistent with the law of God. Others discuss issues like the meaning of the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Still others discuss particular historical controversies, such as the Civil War, war in general, and racial justice. A final set of readings concerns the quarrel between secularism and its critics. Typically, we will read the religious arguments on each side of the issues we discuss.
The readings will be in a packet available at Abel's Copies. Because of copyright laws, in order to pick up your packet you will need proof of your enrollment in the course -- for example, a printed out copy of your official course schedule.