Vulnerability seems to present a paradigmatic form of ethical imperative: if we know that something bad might happen, we should act now to prevent or mitigate its effects. But in what ways, to what ends, and at what cost? Should … read more >

This course explores religious life in the United States. We will focus our study on groups and movements that highlight distinctive ways of being both “religious” and “American,” including the Americanization of global religions in the US context. Major themes … read more >

This course explores the complex intersections among U.S. political power on a global stage, and religious institutions and identities. Readings and discussions are organized around two very broad questions. First: how has this nation’s history been shaped by religious “others” … read more >

This course explores in depth current issues related to pluralism, difference, and belonging in matters pertaining to religion and other important issues, with a particular focus on how these play out in the university context. The instructors, John Inazu and … read more >

This course is a historical survey of the dynamic relationship between religion and politics during the 1920s. The 1920s were a tipping point for a great deal of the fundamental issues that shaped the twentieth century in the U.S. This … read more >

This course focuses on the political and spiritual lives of Martin and Malcolm. We will examine their personal biographies, speeches, writings, representations, FBI Files, and legacies as a way to better understand how the intersections of religion, race, and politics … read more >

This course explores the intersections of anthropology, theology, economic interests, and activism. We will draw on a range of sources including social-scientific theories about religion and ritual, discussions of disenchantment and re-enchantment, and indigenous claims to land. These theoretical frameworks … read more >

The purpose of this class is to engage and challenge freshman students in an open discussion about the prehistoric Mississippian community of Cahokia. The focus of this course is two-fold. The first is to study the way in which the … read more >

This seminar examines American freethinkers, secularists, humanists, and atheists from Tom Paine and Ernestine Rose through Madalyn Murray O’Hair and Sam Harris. Topics emphasized include: church-state relations; social radicalism and women’s rights; secular versus Christian imaginings of the nation; and … read more >

What is the role of religious argument in politics and law? What kinds of arguments are advanced, and how do they differ from one another? Are some of these arguments more acceptable than others in a liberal democracy? This course … read more >