Courses

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 >

  • Love and Reason

  • Faculty: Fannie Bialek
  • Schedule: Mondays/Wednesdays 11:30 a.m. - 12:50 p.m.
  • Course Number: L57 RelPol 245

Love often seems dramatically unreasonable, and reason can seem coldly rational in a way that excludes any emotion, passion, or affiliation even akin to love. The supposed opposition between love and reason has been used by Christian and secular thinkers … read more >

  • African-American Religions

  • Faculty: Vernon Mitchell
  • Schedule: Tuesdays/Thursdays 11:30 a.m. - 12:50 p.m.
  • Course Number: L57 RelPol 280

This course is an introduction to African-American religions. This course attends to change wrought in indigenous African religions by enslavement, the adoption of Christianity (and severe critiques of it) by slaves themselves, the building of African-American denominations, the rise of … read more >

  • Islam in America

  • Faculty: Tazeen Ali
  • Schedule: Mondays/Wednesdays 10:00 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.
  • Course Number: L57 RelPol 285

In this course, we examine the notion of a religiously plural America and analyze Muslims’ place within it. We consider the ways that American Muslims both shape and are shaped by U.S. society as both religious actors with autonomy and … read more >

This course engages students in reading and analysis of influential religious texts from the western Christian world from the mid-sixteenth century to the present. The course also examines these texts in their historical context, raising questions about the relationship between … read more >

  • God in the Courtroom

  • Faculty: Dana Lloyd
  • Schedule: Wednesdays 2:30 p.m. - 5:20 p.m.
  • Course Number: L57 RelPol 357

The U.S. Constitution holds a promise to secure freedom of religion through its First Amendment. Its two religion clauses declare unconstitutional any prohibition on the free exercise of religion and laws respecting the establishment of religion. The consequence is that … read more >

The focus of this seminar is Mormonism, meaning, primarily, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is the largest Mormon body. Mormons in the United States have gone from being one of the most intensely persecuted religious groups … read more >

Race and ethnicity are central to how religious pluralism is worked out in America. How do the categories of race and religion intersect to produce concepts of a normative American identity? In this course, we examine the construct of race … read more >

The St. Louis region is home to a diverse array of global religious communities. This course directly introduces students to some of that diversity by revolving around fieldtrips to living institutions and meetings with religious leaders across traditions. In any … read more >

Certain books, “sacred scriptures,” shape U.S. society and culture in powerful and complex ways. Many religious communities believe that Scriptures are ancient texts that are ever­flowing sources of timeless truths. Some religious movements, of which Mormonism has been the most … read more >