RELS 355

Religion and Politics in America

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective February 3, 2000 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

Historically, religion has been a basic dimension of American political life, despite the American tradition of separation of church and state. Today, some fear an erosion of that separation, while others complain that we live in a "culture of disbelief" where religion is not respected. This course takes an historical approach to several controversies surrounding religious belief, religious practice and religious diversity in industrial America, placing these controversies in the context of their time and place. Students learn how the relationship between religion and politics has changed, and how it has not, through the last century of American history. Students of diverse religious backgrounds are most welcome, but a respect for the beliefs of others is a condition of participation. Overlap: HIST 331/531 Religion and Politics in America and RELS 555 Religion and Politics in America.

Special information

Overlap: HIST 331/531 Religion and Politics in America and RELS 555 Religion and Politics in America.

Learning outcomes

General

  • Can examine, articulate and reflect upon ones own ethical views as these relate to the historical development of religion and American society, consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctively characteristic of upper-division courses completed at a comprehensive university.
  • Can discuss religiously-based political differences in American society in an historically-informed and civil fashion, consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctively characteristic of upper-division courses completed at a comprehensive university.
  • Recognizes the diversity of religious-ethical traditions in American history, e.g. among Americans of different races, regions, national origins and classes, consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctively characteristic of upper-division courses completed at a comprehensive university.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts

  • Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  • Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
  • Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
  • Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
  • Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.