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Center for Curriculum and Transfer Articulation
Religion in America
Course: REL206

First Term: 2011 Fall
Lecture   3.0 Credit(s)   3.0 Period(s)   3.0 Load  
Subject Type: Academic
Load Formula: S

Description: Introduction of the rich tapestry of religious traditions and movements that have helped to shape the United States of America. Investigate how religion has impacted American culture and institutions, and how the United States has in turn transformed long-standing religious traditions.

MCCCD Official Course Competencies
1. Describe the significant role Europe played, (Christendom, Protestant Reformation, the Enlightenment, Age of Discovery) in helping to set the stage for religious diversity in America. (II)
2. Describe the distinctive and very diverse religions of Native Americans. (III)
3. Describe the earliest attempts to establish religion by European settlers. (III)
4. Describe the development of America`s unprecedented experiment; namely, disestablishment, voluntaryism, and denominationalism. (IV, VI)
5. Describe the early denominational diversity through to the more recent radical pluralism, of religious varieties representative of global religious diversity. (V, VII)
6. Describe the sometime tense, but always engaging relationship between religion and politics in America. (VI)
7. Describe major religious figures and movements that have helped to shape religion in the United States. (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII)
8. Describe the significant paradox between the highly religious, yet highly secular nature of American society. (IV, VII)
9. Describe the nature of denominations in the ever-changing configurations of insiders and outsiders. (III, V, VII)
10. Describe the relationship of America`s religious landscape on the rest of the world. (VI)
MCCCD Official Course Competencies must be coordinated with the content outline so that each major point in the outline serves one or more competencies. MCCCD faculty retains authority in determining the pedagogical approach, methodology, content sequencing, and assessment metrics for student work. Please see individual course syllabi for additional information, including specific course requirements.
MCCCD Official Course Outline
I. Introduction to Religious Studies
II. Backstage: The European Context
   A. Christendom and Others
   B. Protestant, Anglican, Catholic, and Radical Reformations
III. Onstage Beginnings
   A. Native Americans: the Earliest Actors
   B. European Immigrants
      1. Catholic and Protestant Settlements
      2. Spanish and French Missions
      3. The Colonies: Puritan and Anglican Ways
      4. The Colonies: Early Religious Diversity
   C. Involuntary Immigration
      1. African and African American religion
IV. Republican Beginnings: The Lively Experiment.
   A. The First Great Awakening
      1. Early Revivalism: The Surprising Work of God
      2. A First National Conversion
   B. Religion, Politics, and Civil Religion
   C. Disestablishment, Voluntaryism, and Denominationalism
V. A New and Expanding Nation
   A. The Second Great Awakening
      1. Camp Meetings and the Benevolent Empire a form decorous revivals to barking at Cane Ridge
      2. Go West Young Man: Missions and Education
      3. I Fear that you might forget the Ladies: Women and Reform
      4. The Peculiar Institution: The Slavery Question
   B. Utopian Visions and Experimentation
      1. Shakers, Oneida, and Transcendentalism
      2. Millerites, Mormons, and Spiritualism
   C. A Broadening Denominational Landscape
      1. Unitarians & Universalists
      2. African American Denominations
      3. Jewish Denominationalism
      4. The Growing Catholic Presence
      5. Varied Denominational Orientations
         a. High and Low Churches
         b. Old and New Lights
         c. Old and New School Confessionalism
VI. Post-Civil War Religious Landscape
   A. Reconstruction and African American Churches
   B. New Americans: Opportunities and Tensions
   C. Evolution and the New Intellectual Climate
   D. Immigration, Urbanization & Industrialization
      1. New Denominational Directions
      2. The Social Gospel
   E. Masculine Christianity and World Missions
   F. Sectarian Stances: Holiness & Pentecostalism
VII. The 20th Century: Modern America
   A. Jews and Catholics: Infrastructure and Growing Visibility
   B. Fundamentalist Battle Lines
      1. The Scopes Trial: A Symbolic Drama
      2. An apparent fall and resurrection
   C. Religion and Two Great Wars
      1. Unbridled Patriotism and Subsequent Caution
      2. Two Total Wars and Theodicy
   D. The Mainstream and Third-Force Christianity
      1. Accommodation and Ecumenism
      2. The Growth of Conservative Churches
      3. The Great Divide
      4. The Third Great Awakening
   E. A More Visible Religious Pluralism
      1. Protestant-Catholic-Jew-and beyond
      2. Catholicism: a President and a Council
      3. World Religions on the American Stage
      4. The New Age and a Religious Marketplace
   F. Post-Modern America
      1. 9/11 and American Identity
      2. Why is America So Religious
      3. American Theocracy or Pluralism
         a. Last gasp
         b. The future
MCCCD Governing Board Approval Date: 6/26/2007

All information published is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, but based on the dynamic nature of the curricular process, course and program information is subject to change in order to reflect the most current information available.