AS 12 SYLLABUS - Amherst College

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American Studies 12 Spring 2008

Religion, Democracy, and American Culture

The United States has inscribed the separation of church and state into its constitutional order, and yet Americans have for two centuries been more deeply committed to religious faith and practice than any other people in the Western world. This course endeavors to explore that paradox. Topics addressed include the changing meanings of “the city on a hill”; the varieties of millennial belief and utopian community; the relationship between religion and ethnicity; religious political activism from abolition to prohibition to antiabortion; and the limits of religious tolerance from movements against Catholics and

Mormons to recent warnings of a “clash of civilizations” with Muslim cultures.

BOOKS

Robert Wuthnow,

America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity

(Princeton

University Press, 2005)

Garry Willis,

Head and Heart: American Christianities

(Penguin, 2007)

Edward Larson,

Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing

Debate over Science and Religion

(Basic Books, 2006)

James Baldwin,

Go Tell It on the Mountain

(Dial Press, 2000)

Robert Orsi,

The Madonna of 115th Street: Faith and Community in Italian Harlem

(Yale

University Press, 2002)

Paul E. Johnson and Sean Wilentz,

The Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and

Salvation in 19 th

-Century America

(Oxford University Press, 1995)

Mohsin Hamid,

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

(Harcourt, 2007)

These books are available at the Jeffrey Amherst Bookstore and are starred (*) in the syllabus, all other readings are included in the Course Reader which is available at

Collective Copies, both on South Pleasant Street in downtown Amherst.

On days marked “Lecture” both sections will meet together in the Converse Red Room

Prof Frank Couvares

17 Chapin Hall

Phone 2417

E-mail fgcouvares@amherst.edu

Section classroom Chapin 210

Prof. Karen Sánchez-Eppler

112 Morgan Hall

Phone 2186

E-mail kjsanchezepp@amherst.edu

Section classroom Chapin 202/203

SYLLABUS

I CITY ON A HILL

1/28 Introduction in sections

1/30 Lecture: Joint meeting with Profs. Couvares and Sánchez-Eppler

Stephen Prothero “Introduction” and James Davidson Hunter and David Franz,

“Religious Pluralism and Civil Society” both in Prothero

A Nation of Religions:

The Politics of Pluralism in Mutireligious America

, 1-19 and 256-273

Contemporary News Clippings

2/1 John Winthrop, “A Model of Christian Charity”; Abraham Lincoln, “Second

Inaugural Address”; Julia Ward Howe, “Battle Hymn of the Republic”; William

McKinley “Address at the Trans-Mississippi Exposition at Omaha Nebraska,

October 12, 1898”

Speeches and Addresses of William McKinley

100-106; Mark

Twain “The War Prayer”; George W. Bush, “Second Inaugural Address”

II

2/4 *Robert Wuthnow “A Special People in a Diverse World,” in

America and the

Challenges of Religious Diversity

, 8-36; Ramón Gutiérrez, “The Spanish

Conquest of New Mexico,” in

When Jesus Came the Corn Mother’s Went Away

(Stanford, 1991), 39-94

2/6

2/8

Lecture Prof. Carol Clark: Spiritual Landscapes in Fayerweather 117

Henry David Thoreau, “Walking,” first Published in the Atlantic Monthly June

1862; Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The Over-soul” in

Essays: First Series

*Gary Wills, “Emersonians” in

Head and Heart

, 271-284

III

2/11

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY & PLURALISM

*Gary Wills, “Mary Dyer must Die,” and “The Puritan Psyche” in

Head and

Heart

, 15-53; Thomas Morton, “Of the Revels of New Canaan,”

The New English

Canaan,

276-287; William Bradford,

History of Plymouth Plantation

, 126-27,

146-49, 236-42; Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Maypole of Merry Mount,” 67-82

2/13

Thomas Jefferson, “A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom”; First

Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America; *Gary Wills,

“The First Amendment” and “Madisonian Separation” in

Head and Heart

, 222-

249; Kevin Schultz, “‘Favoritism Cannot be Tolerated’: Challenging

Protestantism in America’s Public Schools and Promoting the Neutral State,”

American Quarterly

(2007) 59:565-592; News clippings on Ben Gamla and Kahil

Gibran Charter Schools

2/15 Lecture Prof. Frank Couvares: Mormons and the Limits of Religious Liberty

US v Reynolds; Josiah Strong,

Our Country

, 107-116; Mary Zeiss Stang “The

White Man’s Wounded Knee, or, Whose Holy War is this Anyway? A Cautionary

Tale” in David Odell Scott

Democracy and Religion: Free Exercise and Diverse

Visions”

156-174.

IV

2/18

2/20

2/22

*Edward Larson,

Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s

Continuing debate over Science and Religion

pp. 3-86.

View film “Inherit the Wind”

Lecture Prof. Laura Lovett: The Scopes Trial

*Edward Larson,

Summer for the Gods

pp. 87-196. finish *

Summer for the Gods

View film “Intelligent Design on Trial”

V

2/25

RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

2/27

*Gary Wills, “The Second Great Awakening” and “Evangelicals” in

Head and

Heart

, 287-302 and 341-350; Jonathan Edwards, from

Some Thoughts

Concerning the Present Revival of Religion in New

England; Charles Chauncy, from

Seasonable Thoughts on the State of Religion in New England;

Charles

Grandison Finney from

Memoirs

all in

American Religions a Documentary

History

90-109 and 189-196; Jarena Lee,

The Life and Religious Experiences of

Jarena Lee,

25-48

Lecture Prof. Sánchez-Eppler: on

Go Tell It on the Mountain

*James Baldwin,

Go Tell It on the Mountain,

Parts I and 2

View film “Say Amen”

First Paper on Religion and Civic Life Due

2/29

VI

3/3

*James Baldwin,

Go Tell It on the Mountain,

Part 3

3/5

3/7

Ryan K. Smith, “The Cross: Church Symbol and Contest in Nineteenth Century

America”

Church History

(2001); 705-734; William James, “Conclusion” and

“Postscript” from

Varieties of Religious Experience,

382-414

Visit 2d Congregational Church

Introduce Ethnography Project

*Robert Orsi,

The Madonna of 115th Street: Faith and Community in Italian

Harlem

*Robert Orsi,

The Madonna of 115 th

Street

finish

VII

3/10 *Robert Wuthnow, “Introduction” and the chapters “The New Diversity” and

“The Significance of Religious Diversity” in

America and the Challenges of

Religious Diversity

, 1-8 and 37-105

3/12 Lecture by film-maker Prashant Bhargava

Kurien Prema “‘We are Better Hindus Here’: Religion and Ethnicity Among

Indian Americans” in

Religions in Asian America

99-120

View film “Sangam”

3/14

M. A. Muqtedar Khan, “Living on Borderlines: Islam beyond the Clash and

Dialogue of Civilizations” in

Muslims’ Place in the American Public Square

, 84-

113; Sherien Sultan “Subway Negotiations” in

Voices of Resistance: Muslim women on War, Faith and Sexuality,

48-50

;

Humera Afridi, “Circumference” in

S

hattering the Stereotypes: Muslim Women Speak Out,

222-224; Aisha Abdul

Kareem, Hamid Dana, Yuseph Sleem, and Amira Al-Sarrah in

Voices of

American Muslims

57-67, 83-91, 145-50, and 235-45

SPRING BREAK

RELIGION AND ASSIMILATION IIIV

3/24 *Robert Wuthnow “Embracing Diversity: Shopping in the Spiritual Marketplace” and “Many Mansions: Accepting Diversity,”

America and the Challenges of

Religious Diversity,

106-158

;

Alejandro Portes and Rubén Rumbaut, “Religion:

The Enduring Presence,”

A Portrait of Immigrant America

, 299-342; Mansha

Parven Mirza, “Infinite and Everywhere! My Kaleidoscopic Identity” in

Voices of

Resistence: Muslim Women on War faith and Sexuality,

206-213

Religious Family History / Biography Due

3/26 Philip Roth, “The Conversion of the Jews”; Bernard Malamud, “The German

Refugee”; Amani Elkassabani, “Hanaan’s House”; Zev Chafets, “The SY

Empire,”

New York Times Magazine

, Oct. 14, 2007, 83-88

3/28

Sharon A. Suh, “’To Be Buddhist is to be Korean’: The Rhetorical Use of

Authenticity and the Homeland in the Construction of Post Immigrant Identities” in Jane Iwamura and Paul Spickard,

Revealing the Sacred in Asian Pacific

America

, 177-191; Selections from Sumi Loudon,

Blue Jean Buddha: Voices of

Young Buddhists

, 89-98, 133-143, 191-219

IX RELIGION, GENDER, SEX

3/31

Lecture Prof. Karen Sánchez-Eppler: Faith and Gender in the Early Republic

Elizabeth Hanson,

God’s Mercy Surmounting Man’s Cruelty

4/2 Rebecca Reed,

Six Months in a Convent

4/4

X

4/7

4/9

*

*

The Kingdom of Matthias

The Kingdom of Matthias,

, start

finish

Lecture Prof. Frank Couvares: Blasphemy, Obscenity, & Christian Campaigns for

Censorship in the Early 20 th

Century

Amanda Frisken, “The Politics of Exposure,” from

Victoria Woodhull’s Sexual

Revolution

, 85-116

4/11

John D’Emilio and Estelle Freedman,

Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in

America

, 326-360

View film “Jesus Camp”

Religious Ethnography Project Due

XI

4/14

RELIGION AND POLITICS

4/16 Lecture Prof. Frank Couvares: From Prohibition to Civil Rights: Religion &

Politics in the 20 th

Century.

Gaines Foster,

Moral Reconstruction

, 1-7, 219-234

4/18

4/25

Taylor Branch, “First Trombone,” in

Parting the Waters,

105-142; Martin Luther

King Jr., “Our God is Marching On!” and

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

XII

4/21 Paul Harvey, “Religion, Race, and Rights” in

Freedom’s Coming

169-217;

Malcom X,

The Autobiography of Malcolm X,

162-176, and “America’s Greatest

Crises Since the Civil War” in

Malcolm X: The Last Speeches

, 59-79

4/23 Lecture on the Christian right

*Gary Wills, “Evangelicals Counter Attack” and “The Karl Rove Era,” in

Head and Heart

, 480-546

*Robert Wuthnow, “One Way: Resisting Diversity” in

America and the

Challenges of Religious Diversity

159-187; Rudy Busto, “Gospel According to the Model Minority: Hazarding an Interpretation of Asian American Evangelical

College Students,”

Amerasia Journal

(1996) 133-147

XIII

German Town Friends Protest against Slavery, 1688; Journal of John Woolman,

1757-58, 208-220; Sarah M. Grimkés, “An Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern

States,” 90-115; David Walker, Preamble and Article III of

Appeal to the Colored

Citizens of the World

, 1-8 and 37-45

4/28 Leon Feuer, “The Birth of the Jewish Lobby: A Reminiscence”

American Jewish

Archives

(1976) 28: 107-118; Stuart E. Eizenstat, “Loving Israel Warts and All,”

Foreign Policy

(1990-1991): 87-105 ; Cornell West, “Forging New Jewish and

Islamic Democratic Identities” in

Democracy Matters

107-143; John Judis, “The

New Anti-Anti-Semites,”

The New Republic On-line

(Feb, 8 2007)

4/30 *Robert Wuthnow, “The Public’s Beliefs and Practices” and “How Pluralistic

Should We Be?” in

America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity

188-229

286-314 ; *Gary Wills, “Epilogue: Separation not Suppression” ” in

Head and

Heart

, 547-552; Charles Harper and Bryan LeBeau, “Social Change and Religion in America: Thinking Beyond Secularism”

*Mohsin Hamid,

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

5/2

XIV

5/5 *Mohsin Hamid,

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

5/7 News Clippings on religious tensions in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East

5/9 Wrap up

Final Paper Due Monday May 12 th

at 5pm

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