RELIGION AND AMERICAN CULTURE
SEMINAR IN AMERICAN HISTORY (HI399)
EASTERN NAZARENE COLLEGE
Tues, Thurs: 1:45-3:00
Location: Gardner RM 27
|Office: Cameron Center,
Office Phone: (617) 847-5816
Office Hours: Tu., Th, 9:00-11:00; or by appt.
This readings seminar offers history
majors and non-majors a broad knowledge of religion and American
culture from the pre-colonial period to the present. Special
attention will be given to the work of historians, filmmakers,
religious studies scholars, anthropologists, and sociologists who
grapple with the complexities of American religious life. This
course will pay close attention to the wide-ranging religious diversity
of America—from 19th century Lakota spiritualism to 20th century Catholic devotion; from modern
serpent-handling Appalachian pentecostals to covenant-making early
American Puritans. It will also zero in on the conflicts and divisions
that have shaped American religious history. Some topics to be
covered include: the religious dimensions of gender and sexuality, race
and religion, the development of a distinctively American theology, and
the recent fusion of religion and politics.
on Amazon.com and at the ENC college bookstore)
* Jon Butler, Grant Wacker, and Randall
Balmer, Religion in American Life: A Short History
(Oxford University Press, 2007).
EXPECTATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS
* Randall Stephens, Recent Themes in American Religious
History: Historians in Conversation (University of South
Carolina Press, 2009).
Robert Alter, Pen of Iron: American Prose and the King
James Bible (Princeton University Press, 2010).
Harold Frederic, The Damnation of Theron Ware: Or
Illumination (1896; Penguin Classics, 1986. Available in
full on Google
reading to be handed out in class or posted to this page
Students will be evaluated on how well
they identify and critique the significance events, terms, and individuals
covered and on the basis of their reading, writing, and thinking
skills. You must read every assignment and come prepared to
discuss these in class. Since this is designed as a
seminar/discussion course, your participation will be critical.
Always be prepared; I may call upon you at any time. While going over
each week’s assignment, identify the major themes, challenge or affirm
the key arguments, and offer a clear analysis of the material
covered. Those who fail to keep up with the reading will do
poorly in this course. Participation and attendance is absolutely
mandatory for each individual in this class and will figure largely
into your overall grade. (Obviously, if you don’t attend or read
the assignments, you cannot participate.) Two tests will be
administered over the semester involving short answer questions and
essays. In addition, unannounced pop quizzes may be administered
occasionally at the beginning of class. These quizzes will cover
the most recent reading assignments and our in-class discussions.
Those who arrive late or fail to attend class will not be allowed to
retake quizzes or tests, unless, of course, a written medical excuse
can be provided.
addition to a satisfactory evaluation of this work based on content,
you are expected to demonstrate competence in writing, argumentation,
and English composition and grammar. You must submit a total of 8, 1.5
to 2 page double-spaced, typed answers to discussion questions posted on-line.
These will be graded on a scale of 1-10 points. Students will
also review either Robert Alter, Pen
of Iron: American Prose and the King James Bible or Harold
Damnation of Theron Ware: Or Illumination. This review
must be typed, 2 pages long, and double-spaced. They will be
graded on a scale of 1-100.
will also write one major research paper. You may choose to write
either an 8-10 page paper reviewing some aspect of the historical
literature or an 8-10 page primary source research paper. (A
bibliography and abstract is required.) I will offer guidance and
suggestions on your topics. Each student will present his/her
final research at the end of the course.
are encouraged to attend lectures on American religious history topics
in the Boston area. Extra credit points will be given to those
who do so and turn in a 2-page summary of the talk. A number of
lectures will be listed on the history department website.
a note on proper behavior and academic honesty. Talking with
fellow classmates, eating, doing other work, reading newspapers,
leaving cell phones on, walking out early or arriving late all reflect
poorly on you as a student and will hurt your overall grade.
Cheating and plagiarism are even worse and will not be tolerated.
Be advised: ANY instance of cheating on tests, essays, or other
assignments will result in immediate failure of the course. For more on
this fascinating topic, please refer to the ENC history dept.
guidelines concerning academic honesty. Those who are guilty will
be caught. Incriminating evidence is only a Google™ search away.
Attendance and pop quizzes = 10%
short response Papers = 15%
short book review = 10%
for research paper (at least 10 published works) = 5%
for research paper (no more than one page) = 5%
Research essay = 20%
Exams – 10% each = 20%
A = 100-94; A- = 93-90; B+ = 89-87; B = 86-84; B- = 83-80; C+ = 79-77;
C = 76-74; C- = 73-70; D = 69-60
Failure to complete any of the assignments will obviously result in a
significant lowering of your total grade.
& DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
(All readings are to be completed on the day they are listed.)
James R. Cameron Center for History, Law, & Governrnent |
Nazarene College | 23 East Elm Avenue | Quincy, Massachusetts
| Phone: 1-617-745-3000 | email: r a n d a l l . s t e p h
e n s @ e n c . e d u
Site designed by Randall J. Stephens