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Special Programs

Interterm Classes

Summer Interterm Courses

RLGS 3680: American Religious Experience: Religion and Politics

American Religious Experience: Religion and Politics

RLGS  3680 - 4 credits

Dates: June 11 - 15, 2012
Days: Monday - Friday
Time: 10 am - 6 pm
Instructor: Luis Leon

Description:  Is America a "Christian" nation? Who decides? What are the stakes in making this decision? The 2012 Republican presidential primary race has brought into sharp belief of the centrality of these questions in American public life. Indeed, the assertion that a Christian America shapes the conversation on many personal freedoms, governmental policies, and the economy. Indeed, debates over contraception, abortion, stem cell research, marriage equality, drug leagalization, and war, among many other issues, all presume a Christian reference and biblical authority when unfolding among the American population. This course explores the place of religion in the American experience through the lense of "civil religion," or the way that the U.S. nation state is imbued with a "spiritual dimension." After surveying Constitutional religious mandates, students will consider the possibilities for religious freedom and will be asked what it means to be an American. 

Contact: Dr. Luis Leon at