This course explores the economic, cultural, and social history of the origins of Anglo-American capitalism from 1500 to 1800. Throughout we will discuss the worldviews and day-to-day business decisions of the merchants who created England’s transatlantic market order and empire. … read more >

This course introduces students to American Indian religions and politics. We will think of American Indian religiosity as tied together with a strong sense of place and a long history of oppression. To do so, we will employ an interdisciplinary … read more >

This course explores American religious and political history with particular attention to themes of dissent and reform. From Anne Hutchinson’s challenges to the puritan establishment in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, to evangelical abolition movements in the nineteenth century, to arguments … read more >

In the United States, most people assume that to be religious one should be sincere. You should really believe what you say you believe; don’t fake it. Since the mid-twentieth century, courts have used the “sincerity test” for religious claimants, … read more >

The United States has often been imagined as both a deeply Christian nation and a thoroughly secular republic. These competing visions of the nation have created conflict throughout American history and have made the relationship between religion and politics quite … read more >

A course in European history and thought since 1600 which addresses two themes: the search for a moral code, and the legitimate role of the state. Both are ancient inquiries, but they acquired important and novel interpretations in the West … read more >

  • The FBI and Religion

  • Faculty: Lerone Martin
  • Schedule: Tuesdays/Thursdays 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Course Number: L57 RelPol 355

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 … read more >

The seminar focuses on the formation of “spirituality” in American culture from the Transcendentalist world of Ralph Waldo Emerson on through more recent expressions of the “spiritual-but-not-religious” sensibility. How did “spirituality” come to be seen as something positively distinct from … read more >

Gender has often been posed as the fundamental distinction of the human condition, creating the original opportunity for relation across that distinction. In some strands of religious thought, this distinction comes second to the creation of the world distinct from … read more >

  • Religious Freedom in America

  • Faculty: John Inazu, Mark Valeri
  • Schedule: Mondays/Wednesdays 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. (with required discussion period on Fridays, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. OR 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)
  • Course Number: L57 RelPol 320

This interdisciplinary course, co-taught by a law school professor and an American historian, concerns the intersection of religion, liberty, and law in American culture. It introduces students to the major texts and historical issues concerning religious liberty, using legal history … read more >