Conscience & Religion in American Politics


Conscience is as American as apple pie and baseball, but its meaning and implications are deeply contested in American religion and politics. What is conscience? To what extent is conscience laden with theological-and more specifically, Christian-commitments? What role should conscience, religious or ethical, play in political life? By considering what conscience means and what vision of politics it implies, we will reflect on what it means to be American-how religion should relate to politics, how individuals should engage with democratic laws and norms, and how religious and political dissenters might oppose American politics. We will focus on key moments in the history of American religion and politics through the lens of conscience, from the Interwar Period, the perceived threat of communism during the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War, to the "culture wars" on abortion, marriage equality, LBGTQ rights, and the death penalty. This course draws on interdisciplinary sources from religious studies, political theory, law, and history, in twentieth and twenty-first century American politics.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Eth; BU BA; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM

Section 01

Conscience & Religion in American Politics
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