RELI 100 - Introduction to American Studies
Semester Offered: Fall
(Same as AMST 100 ) Topic for 2017/18a: The American Secular: Religion and the Nation-State. Is there a distinct realm in American politics and culture called the secular, a space or a mode of pubic discourse that is crucially free of and from the category of religion? This class considers the sorts of theoretical and historical moments in American life, letters, and practice that have, on the one hand, insisted the importance and necessity of such a realm, and on the other hand, resisted the very notion that religion should be kept out of the American public square. We will ask whether it is possible or even desirable—in our politics, in our public institutions, in ourselves—to conceive of the secular and the religious as radically opposed. We will ask if there are better ways to conceive of the secular and the religious in American life, ways that acknowledge their mutual interdependence rather than their exclusivity. Jonathon Kahn.
Open to freshmen and sophomores only.
Two 75-minute periods.
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