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American Culture Studies

Christian Theology and Politics in the Modern West

American Culture Studies 354A - Spring 2020

This course engages students in reading and analysis of influential religious texts from the western Christian world from the mid-sixteenth century to the present. The course also examines these texts in their historical context, raising questions about the relationship between theology and politics in the west. The course pursues such questions chronologically, with the first weeks devoted to Catholic and Calvinist contests over revelation and political authority during the sixteenth century to Puritan ruminations during the seventeenth century on the nature of worldly calling and personal eschatology. The next weeks concern eighteenth-century views of reason as a critique of traditional Christianity and Protestant responses centered on true virtue as a hedge against worldly loyalties. We then examine nineteenth-century discussions of the relationship between ethics, tradition, and religious experience. For the twentieth century, we discuss texts that address Christian conceptions of redemption to issues of hyper-nationalism and race. The final weeks are devoted to recent theologies that have to do with the self and one's identity and current political crises.
Course Attributes: EN HBU HumBU EthAS HUMFA HUMAR HUM

Section 01

Christian Theology and Politics in the Modern West
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