The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the intellectual tradition of Protestant preaching as both spiritual witness and prophetic resistance in the United States. The ultimate aim of this course is threefold: 1.) Clarify the role of the public intellectual within the prophetic tradition, 2.) Identify opportunities and limitations of the preacher as public intellectual due to factors such as gender/class and racial hierarchies, 3.) Encourage students to craft sermons that are biblically based, exegetically sound, and that can address the cultural and political economies of the dominant society. Intellectuals engaged in the course include, but are not limited to, William Sloane Coffin, Pauli Murray, and Gardner C. Taylor.
Pentecostal-Charismatic movements represent the fastest growing segments of global Christianity. The aim of this lecture course is to trace the historical and ethical formations of such movements in several global contexts, including, but not limited to, the United States, Latin America, West Africa, and South Korea. We will pay particular attention to rationales for conversion and commitment, perceived social and/or political capital that believers accrue, as well as a theological basis for a "prosperity lifestyle" and consumerist ethic.
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the religious practices, beliefs, and movements of African Americans from 17th century to present. Topics include, but not limited to, black religions in North America under slavery, black churches, black Muslims, Jews and conjuring traditions, the civil rights movement, and the relation of African American religion to literature and music. Readings will include Albert Raboteau, Michael Gomez, Evelyn Brooks-Higginbotham, Barbara Diane-Savage, Karen McCarthy Brown and others.
This course will introduce students to the leading "schools" of social scientific thought throughout the first half of the twentieth century in regards to religion, race and ethnicity. Major topics to be addressed include anthropological and sociological approaches that led to Africanisms, cultural relativism and particularism on the one hand, versus universalism, acculturation, and assimilation on the other. Beyond evaluating the works of leading proponents of aforementioned approaches, students will also engage social context, political motivations, and economic influences that animated...