What is the course about?
This course is about the role of religion in American society, from the earliest days of the Nation up until the modern day. The course will provide a broad overview of this vast and fascinating topic, looking at large trends and developments, and touching on America's many faith traditions.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• Religious groups that were prominent during colonisation, how those faiths evolved over time, how new sects and churches developed, and how immigrants introduced new religions into American society
• Religious revivals and “Awakenings”
• How religion affected American politics, and how the separation of church and state affected American churches
• How churches played a key role in the Civil Rights Movement and how the Religious Right formed, in part, as a backlash to civil rights laws.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
¿ Understand how diverse the American religious experience has been.
¿ Understand how religious beliefs have played a key role in American politics and society despite the separation of church and state.
¿ Understand how some of the major churches and faiths have evolved over time.
¿ Understand how religion has both united and divided Americans.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory-level course. No prior knowledge is necessary, only curiosity. As an online course, you will need to be able to access the internet and be able to access and use the Zoom video conferencing platform.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This course will be taught via Zoom, using a combination of lecture, engagement with primary sources (both written and audio-visual), and group discussion. You do not need to do work outside of class, but materials will be available should you wish to learn more about the topic.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no additional costs associated with this course. You may wish to have a pen, and notepad or paper by your computer to take notes and record your thoughts.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
We offer a wide range of courses throughout the year exploring the History of the Americas. Those taking this course may be interested in other topics such as our America's Wars series, or courses exploring American politics and cultural history.