Religion and Politics in American History

  • Faculty: Lerone Martin, Leigh Eric Schmidt
  • Schedule: Tuesdays/Thursdays 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Course Number: L57 RelPol 225

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 contentious. This course surveys the complex entanglements of religion and public life from the colonial era through the contemporary landscape. Topics covered include: religious liberty and toleration, secularization, the rise of African-American churches, the Civil War, national identity and the Protestant establishment, the religious politics of women’s rights, religion and the market, the Cold War, the civil rights movement, the religious left and right, debates over church-state separation, constructions of religious pluralism, and religion after 9/11.