L57 RelPol 410

The FBI and Religion

Fall 2020, T 2:30–5:30PM

This course examines the relationship between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and religion as a way to study and understand twentieth century religion and politics specifically and the American experiment in democracy more broadly. Students will investigate the history of the FBI, as well as the various ways in which the FBI and religious groups have interacted with particular attention to the “modes” of FBI-religious engagement.

WUCRSL
FBI Director James Comey leaves after the annual Blue Mass at St. Patrick Church May 5, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Biography

This seminar examines the relationship between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and religion (i.e. faith communities, clerics, and religious professionals) as a way to study and understand twentieth century religion and politics. The course will investigate the history of the FBI as well as the various ways in which the FBI and religious groups have interacted. The course will pay particular attention to what the professor calls the four interrelated “modes” of FBI-religious engagement: Counter-Intelligence and Surveillance, Coordination and Cooperation, Censorship and Publicity, and Consultation.

Course History
Fall 2018: taught by Prof. Lerone Martin

  • This is an amazing course and you should absolutely take it if you can! I wanted to learn more about almost everything that was brought up in class.

    — Fall 2018

  • My political perspective has been given much more context, and I feel empowered to engage with religion in a more powerful way.

    — Fall 2018