Courses

What constitutes a life well lived? How do we imagine answers to that question? Who gets to answer that question for us? And do we ask it as an “us” or as an individual? This course considers the way religious … read more >

This course introduces students to the history of religion and politics in America from the English settlements of Virginia and Massachusetts Bay during the early seventeenth century through the constitutional debates of the 1780s. It pays attention to both formal … read more >

The goal of this course is to think critically about freedom as an ideology and institution. What does it mean to be free? What are the relationships among individual liberties, national sovereignty, and civil rights? In what ways has freedom … 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 >

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 >