Required Text Kenneth D. Wald and Allison Calhoun-Brown. 2007. Religion and Politics in the United States, 5th ed. Lanham, md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Critical Book Review Texts




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RSOC 49: Religion, Politics and Civil Society





Professor: Sean F. Everton Quarter: Spring 2007

Office: Bannan 340 Days and Time: MWF (9:15-10:20)

Office Hours: TBD Room: ENGR 105

Email: severton@scu.edu or

severton@stanford.edu


Course Description





  1. This course is designed to introduce students to the significance and variability of religious influence on contemporary American civic and political life. The relationship between religion and political behavior is not as straightforward as many people assume, and there is considerable debate as to the relationship between religion, politics and civil society should be. Some think that particular religious traditions should play no part; others believe that it should. In this class, we will briefly consider these arguments, but we will spend the majority of our time exploring the interplay between religion, political behavior and civic engagement, not only in the United States, but around the world.




  1. This is a level two religious course. Second level courses are taken after an intro (first level) course and normally during one’s sophomore or junior year.




    • They attempt to provide mastery of a coherent body of material in order to broaden and deepen the “database” that students use to think about religion, religious issues, and all the possible interdisciplinary connections.



    • In terms of cognitive development, second level courses challenge students to master a discrete body of material in its own terms, to draw on this new knowledge in addressing issues framed by other disciplines, and to be alert to the way knowledge is organized and appropriated.




    • With regard to the core curriculum, the second course gives students the informational and analytic resources needed to place religion and religious issues alongside the materials studied under other disciplinary perspectives and encourage their cross-fertilization



Required Text



Kenneth D. Wald and Allison Calhoun-Brown. 2007. Religion and Politics in the United States, 5th ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Critical Book Review Texts:



Stephen L. Carter. 2001. God’s Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Andrew Greeley and Michael Hout. 2006. The Truth about Conservative Christians: What They Think and What They Believe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Doug McAdam. 1999. Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930-1970, 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Richard John Neuhaus. 1986. The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in American, 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Marc Sageman. 2004. Understanding Terrorist Networks. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.

Rodney Stark. 2006. The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success. New York: Random House.


Course Reader, Internet, and Angel


Most of the other required readings are available in the course reader (available in the SCU bookstore), through Angel (Santa Clara’s course management system), or on the Internet – see the schedule of lectures and readings.

Course Requirements





  1. Participation (10% of grade): I expect you to attend class regularly and participate in class discussions and exercises. I also expect you to refrain from speaking to your neighbor during lectures, exercises or group presentations (I will ask you to move permanently if you are unable to do so). I presume that you can and will attend most classes but may occasionally have a legitimate reason to miss a class or two during the quarter (very sick, funeral, athletic event, etc.).




  1. In-class Group Exercises (10% of grade): There will be six in-class group-exercises (based on the assigned readings), for which you will not receive a grade but credit/no credit. Except for the first one, group exercises involve two items: (1) the preparation (before class begins) of a bibliographic annotation of the assigned reading (see handout) and (2) helping the group answer the question assigned to the group. Late annotated bibliographies will not be accepted. Please note that for examinations (see next item) students will be responsible for all of the material covered by the group exercises. In other words, even though for each exercise your group will only be assigned one set of questions, for the exams you will be responsible for all of an exercise’s questions. Students with legitimate absences (e.g., athletic events, illnesses, family emergencies – hangovers are not a legitimate absence) can partially make up a missed group exercise by writing a one-page reflection paper on the exercise (need to discuss with professor before doing, however) and turning in an bibliographic annotation.




  1. Exams (50% of grade): There will be two (mutually exclusive) examinations given during the quarter. They will include a combination of true-false, multiple-choice, short answer and long essay questions and will cover the lectures and the assigned readings.




  1. Group Research Report (15% of grade): Students will be assigned to groups that will research and prepare a research report on a topic related to the substantive and/or theoretical questions raised in the class. Groups will make a brief presentation of their findings to the entire class. Sixty-five percent (65%) of your field report grade will be based on the grade that the report receives; thirty-five percent (35%) will be based on your contribution to the group – in other words, your peers will grade you. Group reports are due on the day of the final examination.




  1. Book Reviews/Personal Handbook (15% of grade): Students have a choice between writing (a) two 5-7 page critical book reviews on two of the “recommended” texts listed above or (b) a 20-25 page “personal handbook” of key terms and concepts related to politics, civil society and religion.




  1. Critical Book Reviews: Critical book reviews should include (1) a summary (overview) of the book and (2) an evaluation of the book’s theoretical perspective/conclusions drawing on concepts covered by the readings and lectures. You will also compare it to two scholarly reviews of the book found in journals, etc. (see handout on Angel for more details).




  1. Personal Handbook: Students can choose to write a personal handbook of religion, politics and civil society. This will be based primarily on the readings we will be doing during the quarter although for some of the topics, you will be need to do additional. This project should become part of your on-going work during the quarter. If you leave it until the end of the quarter, it will be virtually impossible to complete it on schedule, at least with any quality (see handout on Angel for more details).



Grading (Summary)



Grades for the quarter will be calculated and assigned based on the following distribution and scale:

20% = Midterm examination

30% = Final examination

15% = Group Field Report

15% = Critical Book Reviews (2) or Personal Handbook

10% = In-class Group Exercises

10% = Participation

Important Dates to Remember



April 6th – Good Friday, no class

April 30th – Midterm examination

May 7th – First critical book review or draft of three personal handbook topics due

May 25th – Group Project Day, no class

May 28th – Memorial Day, no class

June 6th – Second critical book reviews, personal handbooks, extra credit book reviews and group projects due

June 11th – Final exam (11:45am)

Student Conduct Code



Please consult your Student Handbook for all regulations concerning the University’s Student Conduct Code. These regulations facilitate integrity in our intellectual life. Without it, there can be no community of scholars. As such, suspicions of plagiarism or cheating will be aggressively pursued and handled according to the strictest interpretation of the guidelines in the Student Handbook.


Disability Accommodation Policy


To request academic accommodations for a disability, students must contact Disability Resources located in The Drahmann Center in Benson, Room 214, (408) 554-4111; TTY (408) 554-5445.  Students must provide documentation of a disability to Disability Resources prior to receiving accommodations.


Part I: Introduction


Weeks 1 & 2: Mapping the Debate


Schedule


Introduction


Video: “God in Government”


The Public Square: Who Can Participate?


A Secular Society? The Unexpected Persistence of Religion


Religious Economies


Subculture Identity: Meaning, Belonging and Identity

Readings

No readings


No readings


Wald & Calhoun-Brown (2007), Chapter 4 (skim)


Wald & Calhoun-Brown (2007), Chapters 1 & 3


Iannaccone et al. (1997), pp. 350-64 (Angel)

Stark & Iannaccone (1994), pp. 230-52 (Angel)


Beyerlein (2004), pp. 505-518 (Angel)

Handout


Weeks 3 & 4: Mapping the Terrain


Schedule


Religion in America: Church, Sect and Cult


Roman Catholicism


Mainline Protestantism


Conservative Protestantism


Black Protestantism


American Judaism


Religion and Politics: Overview


Readings


Wald and Calhoun-Brown (2007), Chapter 2


Wald and Calhoun-Brown (2007), Chapter 9

Stark and Finke (2000), pp. 125-45 (Angel)


Wald and Calhoun-Brown (2007), Chapter 9

Wuthnow and Evans (2002), pp. 1-24 (Reader)


Wald and Calhoun-Brown (2007), Chapter 8

Beyerlein (2004), pp. 505-518 (Angel)


Wald and Calhoun-Brown (2007), Chapter 10

Ellison and Sherkat (1995), pp. 1415-1437 (Angel)


Wald and Calhoun-Brown (2007), Chapter 10


Chaves (1999), pp. 836-846 (Angel)

Beyerlein & Chaves (2003), pp. 229-46 (Angel)


Midterm Examination: Monday, April 30th



Part II: Religion, Politics and Civil Society


Week 5: Religion and Civil Society


Schedule


Social Networks and Religion


Religion, Social Capital and Civil Society


Culture Wars?


Readings


Barabasi & Bonabeau (2003), pp. 60-69 (Angel)


Putnam (1995), pp. 65-78 (Angel)

Smith & Sikkink (1999), pp. 16-20 (Angel)


Wald & Calhoun-Brown (2007), Chapter 7

Smith et al. (1997), pp. 175-195 (Reader)


Week 6: Religion and Political Mobilization


Schedule


The Civil Rights Movement and the Political Process Model


The Emergence of Liberation Theology


Conversion and Recruitment


Recruitment & the Civil Rights Movement: Freedom Summer


Application: The Rise of the Christian Right


Readings


Wald & Calhoun-Brown (2007), Chapters 5 & 6

McAdam (1999), pp. 5-59 (Reader)

Harris (Angel)


Smith (1991), pp. 11-50 (Reader)

Gill (Angel)


Stark (1996), pp. 3-27 (Reader)


McAdam (Angel)


Wald & Calhoun-Brown (2007), Chapter 8


Weeks 7 & 8: Religion and the Political Economy


Schedule


Marx, Religion and the Economy


The Rise of the West: The Protestant Ethic and Beyond


The Victory of Reason


The Decline of the Islamic Middle East


Readings


No reading


Collins (1980), pp. 925-942 (Angel)


Stark (2004), pp. 465-475 (Angel)


Kuran, 2002 (Angel)

Weeks 8 & 9: Religious Extremism: Political Apathy or Political Violence?


Schedule


Christian Apocalypticism


Pre and Post-Millennialism


Video: “Left Behind”


Rise of Islamic Terrorist Networks


Religion and Political Extremism


Readings


Ehrman (1999), pp. 3-19 (Reader)


No readings


No readings


Sageman (2004), (Internet)


Iannaccone (1997), pp. 100-16 (Angel)


Week 10: Group Project Presentations


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