Academic Programs 
      

American Religious History (HI-571)
Fall 2009

The course offers a survey of the rich diversity of religious history in the America from the seventeenth century to the present, highlighting major movements and figures that shaped the distinct forms of faith in our society. The course pays particular attention to the impact of religion on our nation’s history and the interplay of religious traditions and American culture. It includes attention to current trends and directions of American religious life.

 

Meeting Day, Time and Dates:
Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m., beginning Sept. 15
 


Borden Painter

 

Course Syllabus




The course offers a survey of the rich diversity of religious history in the America from the seventeenth century to the present, highlighting major movements and figures that shaped the distinct forms of faith in our society. The course pays particular attention to the impact of religion on our nation’s history and the interplay of religious traditions and American culture. It includes attention to current trends and directions of American religious life.

Required Texts:
Jon Butler, Grant Wacker, Randall Balmer, Religion in American Life
Mark A. Noll, The Old Religion in a New World
Garry Wills, Head and Heart
Edmund S. Morgan, The Puritan Dilemma
Mark A. Noll, God and Race in American Politics

Students should purchase these texts, but copies will be on reserve in the library. Also on reserve will be additional recommended texts. Some documents and other material will be handed out in class or downloaded from the internet.

Course Requirements:
1) Regular attendance and participation in class.
2) Leading several class discussion accompanied by a short paper for each.
3) Theme paper on an approved topic of 12 to 15 pages. (Due December 21)

Grading:
Attendance and regular class participation 20%
Discussion leadership and short papers 30%
Theme paper 30%
(Grading will follow criteria in Hartford Seminary’s “Grading Guidelines,” to be distributed in class.)

Weekly Topics and Reading: (Reading must be completed before each class)

September 8: Overview of American Religious History

September 15: Religion in the Colonies
Garry Wills (GW) Intro, I, 1-2
Jon Butler, Grant Wacker, Randall Balmer (JB et al), chs. 1-3
Mark Noll (MN) chs. 1-2

September 22: Puritan New England
GW I, 3-4
Morgan, entire

September 29: Great Awakening
GW II 5-6, III, 7-9
JB et al chs. 4-6
MN ch. 3

October 6: Revolution and Disestablishment
GW IV, 10-14
JB et al chs. 7-8
MN ch. 4

October 13: Religious Expression in the New Nation
GW V, 15-16, VI, 17-18
JB et al chs. 9-12
MN ch. 5

October 20: Civil War
GW VI, 19
JB et al ch. 13
MN God and Race…, Intro., ch. I

October 27: Immigration and Industrialization
GW VI, 20
JB et al chs. 14-17
MN ch. 6

November 3: African-Americans Religion and Jim Crow
MN God and Race, chs. II-III

November 10: New Movements in a New Century
GW VII, 21-23
JB et al chs. 18-20
MN ch. 7

November 17: Evangelicals, Main Liners and Civil Rights
GW VIII, 24-26
JB et al chs. 21-22
MN ch. 8
MN, God and Race, ch. IV-V

[Thanksgiving, November 26]

December 1: Religion, Politics and Society
GW IX, 27-29
JB et al chs. 23
MN chs. 9-11

December 8: What’s Next?
GW X, 30-32, Epilogue
JB et al ch. 24, Epilogue
MN chs. 12, Afterword, Appendices
MN, God and Race, “Theological Conclusion”

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