HIST-354 American Religious History
Selects a particular theme in American religious life and thought for advanced historical study. For fall 2013 we will trace the tumultuous development of American religion over the course of the 20th century. We will study epochal events like the Scopes (?Monkey?) Trial; eminent personalities like Dorothy Day and Martin Luther King Jr; and tidal shifts like the birth and explosion of Pentecostalism, the fall and resurrection of evangelicalism, and the movement of Catholics, Jews, and African Americans from the sidelines to the center of American faith. We will attend throughout to the interaction between personal faith and its public effects against the backdrop of two persisting questions: How was it that religion continued to hold a central place in American life despite (because of?) the accelerating diversity of American society and opinion? And how did religious faiths of all kinds not only survive but thrive in the face of challenges from science and technology to scandals and doctrinal rivalries? This course is eligible for concurrent registration with History 394.