Course Description and Goals:
This course is a chronological survey of the role of religion in American life from colonial times to the present. It will explore the theological, social, economic, and political aspects of American society. It will also provide students with an understanding of the basic facts and concepts of American religious history through the assigned readings, lectures, class discussion, and multi-media presentations. In-class exams will measure understanding of the aforementioned facts and concepts, and out-of-class writing assignments will help students develop critical-thinking skills.
John Corrigan and Winthrop S. Hudson, Religion in America: An Historical Account of the Development of American Religious Life, 7/E
David L. Holmes, The Faiths of the Founding Fathers
Grant Wacker, Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture
Randall H. Balmer, God in the White House, A History: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush
Book Reviews: 45%
Journal articles: 15%
There will be two in-class exams given during the semester—a mid-term and a final. Test questions may include information from class lecture, discussion, multi-media presentations, the textbooks, and other assigned readings. These questions may include any combination of the following formats: essay, short answer, and identification.
There will be several out-of-class writing assignments that make up a substantial portion of your final grade. 1) Each student will write reviews of 900-1200 words (3-4 pages) for three of the required texts, which should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org according to the course schedule below. These should be typed, double-spaced, and have appropriate citations for additional sources consulted. You should use The Chicago Manual of Style 15/E for your style guide; copies of CMS are located in Mary Livermore Library. Further instructions for writing book reviews are located on the course Blackboard site. 2) For each journal article or book chapter assigned, you will be required to submit to me a 600-700 word essay, which identifies the thesis, summarizes the supporting arguments, and assesses the validity of the argument. These summaries should be submitted via email to email@example.com according to the course schedule below. 3) As always, I expect each student to keep up with the weekly readings from the Hudson textbook. I may also assign primary source documents from time to time, which you will be expected to read and discuss in class. I reserve the right to add pop quizzes to the syllabus to ensure that you are reading these chapters and documents.
Students are expected to attend class regularly and be on time. You are responsible for getting any information from class lecture and discussion that you might miss due to your absence before the next class meeting. Please consult the section on Class Attendance Policy in the catalog (http://www.uncp.edu/catalog/pdf/acad_pol.pdf) for official University policy.
Students should provide me with an approved written excuse (doctor’s note, jury notice, obituary, etc.) if they must miss an exam. Make-up exams will be in identification and/or essay formats. Outside writing assignments must be turned in on the date due. Students will lose ten points for each calendar day the assignment is late.
Code of Conduct:
Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the University’s Code of Conduct outlined in the student handbook (http://www.uncp.edu/sa/handbook/html/rights.htm). Disruptive behavior in the classroom, including extraneous talking and the use of electronic devices, will not be tolerated and may result in expulsion from the class.
Students should regularly check their University email accounts and the Announcements section of the Blackboard site for information about the course. It is the students’ responsibility to consult these sources and be aware of any announcements or revisions to the course schedule.
Students with Documented Disabilities:
Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments should speak directly to Disability Support Services and the instructor during the first two weeks of class. All discussions will remain confidential. This syllabus is available in alternative formats upon request. For assistance, please contact Mary Helen Walker, Office of Disability Support Services, D. F. Lowry Building, (910.521.6695) or visit the Office of Disability Support Services website (http://www.uncp.edu/dss/).
Withdrawal from the Course:
The last day you may drop this course with a grade of “W” is Monday October 19, 2009.
Academic misconduct in any form will not be tolerated. It is your responsibility to recognize and understand the various types of academic misconduct, including plagiarism. Please consult the Academic Honor Code in the Student Handbook or at UNCP’s Division of Student Affairs website (http://www.uncp.edu/sa/pol_pub/honor_code.htm) for official guidelines regarding the definition and handling of academic misconduct. You may also consult the following websites for more information regarding plagiarism:
To protect the confidentiality of student records, I will not discuss grades via the telephone or email. Please see me personally or consult Blackboard or Braveweb if you wish to know your grades.
August 20: Course Introduction
Topic 1: Religion in Colonial America: Hudson, chapters 1 & 2
**“Salem Witchcraft Controversy” due by midnight on Sunday August 23.
Topic 2: Great Awakening and American Revolution: Hudson, chapters 3 & 4
Topic 3: Religion in the Early Republic: Hudson, chapters 5 & 6
**Holmes review due by midnight on Sunday September 6.
Topic 4: Religion: North and South: Hudson, chapters 7 & 8
Topic 5: Civil War and the Lost Cause: Hudson, chapter 9
**Charles Reagan Wilson, “Abiding Children of Pride: Theology of the Lost Cause,” in Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause, 1865-1920 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1980), pp. 58-78 due by midnight on Sunday September 20.
Topic 6: Immigration and Urban Reform: Hudson, chapters 9, 10, & 12
Topic 7: Fundamentalism and Modernism: Hudson, chapters 11, 13, & 14
October 6: Midterm Exam
Topic 8: Holiness and Pentecostal Movements: Hudson, chapter 13
**Wacker review due by midnight on Sunday October 18.
Topic 9: Pacifism, Prosperity, and Poverty: Hudson, chapters 13-15
Topic 10: Religion and Protest Movements: Hudson, chapters 13-16
**David J. Garrow, “Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Spirit of Leadership,” Journal of American History 74 (September 1987): 438-47 due by midnight on Sunday November 1.
Topic 11: Religion and Counterculture: Hudson, chapter 16
Topic 12: New Immigrants and Religious Multiculturalism: Hudson, chapters 14-16
**John O. Voll, “Islamic Issues for Muslims in the United States,” in The Muslims of America, ed. Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), pp. 205-216 due by midnight on Sunday November 15.
Topic 13: Re-Centering Religion: Hudson, chapters 13-16
**Balmer review due by midnight on Sunday November 29.
December 8: Final Exam (10:45-1:15)