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ST. PETERSBURG COLLEGE

St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus

Religion and Politics: REL 1060-1804

Summer Session—2011 (440)


Room: EI 210 Time: Tuesday—Thursday, 12:30 p.m.—2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Charles Jones, Ph.D. Office: HS 129

Phone: 341-4397; Cell 418-2654 email: jones.chuck@spcollege.edu

Office Hours: Gibbs Campus: by appointment.

Academic Department Chair for Humanities and Fine Arts (SPG): Ms. Nancy Smith, HS 118, 727-341-4360

INFORMATIONAL RESOURSES:

Black, Amy, Koopman, Douglas, Hawkins, Larycia (editors) Religion and

American Politics (Longman/Pearson: Glenview, IL, 2011)

Jelen, Ted G. and Wilcox, Clyde (editors) Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective: The One, The Few, and The Many (Cambridge University Press: New York, NY, 2002)

PowerPoint Presentations posted on ANGEL.

Supplemental Bibliography:

Jelen, Ted G. To Serve God and Mammon: Church—State Relations in American Politics, second edition (Georgetown University Press; Washington, DC, 2010)

Lambert, Frank. Religion in American Politics: A Short History (Princeton University Press; Princeton, NJ, 2008)

Wald, Kenneth D. & Calhoun-Brown, Allison. Religion and Politics in the United States, sixth edition (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; New York, 2011)

Witte, John & Nichols, Joel A. Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment, third edition (Westview Press; Boulder, CO, 2011)


COURSE OBJECTIVES:

This course examines the relationship between religion and politics, the interaction between personal conviction and public service. It explores the American commitment to the separation of church and state and how this has shaped the role of religion in society. This American model is then contrasted to the way other cultures interpret the place of religion in a contemporary world.

  1. Major Learning Outcomes:

        1. The student will demonstrate knowledge of the circumstances which led to the American commitment to the separation of church and state.

2. The student will recognize the development and impact of the interaction between religion and politics in American culture.

  1. The student will demonstrate an understanding of the various models of church-state relationships in a global context.

  2. The student will recognize the complexities and significance of religious convictions on public policy.

  3. The student will demonstrate an awareness of the positive and negative impact of the interaction between the sacred and profane.


ATTENDANCE POLICY:

When an enrolled student exceeds a total of four absences and has not already withdrawn from the course, he/she will be asked to withdraw by the instructor. If this occurs on or before the 60% point of the term (June 24th), a “W” will be assigned to the student that carries no academic penalty; or be given a grade of WF if it occurs later in the term. Excused absences, of course, will not count against the student. However, the student needs to clarify the excused absence with the instructor. Students are responsible for withdrawing from a course. The instructor no longer can do this.

Attendance shall be recorded weekly on ANGEL. Students may keep track of their attendance record by checking ANGEL or consulting with the instructor. Attendance lists will be circulated each class period. The student is responsible for signing in for the class. If a student’s name does not appear on the attendance list, the student shall be marked absent.

COURSE EXPECTATIONS:

This course is highly interactive. Each student is expected to play an active role in the discussion, both by asking questions and raising points that emerge from the readings and by responding to the comments of other students. The course grade is determined by following major graded assignments:

5 three to five papers = 50%

1 take home exam = 25 %

1 in-class presentation = 15%

Class participation = 10%

EXTRA CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES:

During the course of the term, there will be several extra credit opportunities:

10 points for perfect attendance during the term (no excused

absences)

5 points for completing the SSI posted on ANGEL under the Lessons

Tab, and bring the receipt with your name on it to the instructor.

25 points for a 2 to 3 page paper on one of the presidents of the U.S. and

how religion influenced who he was and what he did in office.

Extra credit opportunities are optional. However, these opportunities can greatly enhance a student’s final grade. At the end of the term, a student’s extra credit points will be added to the major graded assignments in calculating the final grade.

Students are expected to display a mastery of the material and be able to discuss the cultural and social implications of the role of religion in any given culture. Papers are to be turned in on time. There will be a penalty for any late assign-ments. Papers must be submitted in hard copy. No papers will be accepted through email.

ATTENDANCE EXPECTATIONS:

This class lasts for 2 hours. Once a class begins, it is expected that each student will remain in his/her seat until it is over. If for personal reasons you need to leave earlier, please inform the instructor and sit near the door in order to minimize any disruption. Those who violate this policy may be dismissed for the class and counted as absent.

Anyone who arrives at class more than 15 minutes late will be counted as tardy. Habitual tardiness may constitute sufficient reason for the instructor to ask a student to withdraw from the class. There may be those times when there is an emergency that certainly will be taken into consideration. Tardiness is defined as both arriving late for class and leaving before the class is over.

GRADING SCALE:

A=90-100

B=80-89

C=70-79

D=60-69

F=0-59

PAPER GRADING POLICY:

All papers are to follow the standard MLA format. It is essential that all sources used be properly noted and documented. You may use the short form by citing the author and page number in parentheses after the reference and include the work in a brief bibliography at the end of the essay. Each page of a paper should be clearly numbered. Failure to do so will incur a penalty. Failure to cite references is academic dishonesty and will be penalized.

Papers are usually graded from A to C. If the assignment is completed satisfact-orily; well organized, with an introductory paragraph stating the paper’s thesis and a conclusion summarizing the paper; has good grammar, correct spelling and proper syntax, then the paper is an A paper. A “B” paper means that the assign-ment has been completed with some errors. A “C” paper means that there are some deficiencies that need improvement. The only way to fail a writing assign-ment is not to submit a paper. Papers must be submitted on time or incur a substantial penalty. If a paper is over a week late, the grade will be a zero. It is always better to turn something in, to make some effort, and the minimum grade will be given. If at any time a student wants feedback from the instructor, a preliminary draft may be submitted for review two weeks prior to the due date.

ACADEMIC HONESTY:

Cheating, Plagiarism, Bribery, Misrepresentation, Conspiracy and Fabrication are defined in Rule 6Hx23-4.461, Student Affairs: Academic Honesty Guidelines, Classroom Behavior. St. Petersburg College is committed to academic integrity. If you are aware of cheating or academic misrepresentation of any kind and do not report it, you are also in violation of the Academic Policy Guidelines.

THE RULES OF CLASSROOM ETIQUETTE:

Classroom courtesy is essential to a positive educational experience. Unnecessary distraction and interruption will be avoided as the following “rules for the room” are observed. The instructor will enforce them strictly. They are not meant to embarrass anyone, but rather to establish clear guidelines for appropriate classroom behavior.


  1. Cell phones and Ipods shall be turned off and put away and all electronic devices turned off and stored during class.

  2. Laptops (with permission of the instructor) may only be used in matters related to the class. Violation will cause the laptop to be confiscated. The student may retrieve it from the Humanities Program office. (HS118)

  3. There will be no conversations taking place while the instructor is presenting material. Failure to comply with result in the student being excused for the day and marked absent.

  4. There will be no food consumed during class presentations.

  5. Class times are clearly designated. Students who are more than 15 minutes tardy or who leave class early will be marked absent.

  6. When class starts, the student shall remain in his/her seat during the instructor’s presentation. If the student must leave for any emergency, the student shall ask the instructor to be excused. Students are NOT permitted to disrupt the class by randomly going in and out of class while it is in session. Any student who does so shall be dismissed for the day and be counted as absent.

  7. Respect and courtesy shall be shown to all class members.

  8. There shall be no sleeping in class during an instructor’s presentation.

  9. There shall be no “parading” across the front of the classroom after the instructor has begun class. Any student who does so shall be dismissed for the day and counted as absent. Repeated offenses and the student shall be asked to withdraw from class.

  10. There shall be no monopolizing the instructor’s time during class. If a student needs to consult with the instructor, an appointment may be made to see the instructor after class.



CLASS SCHEDULE:

May 17 Introduction: “Laying the Foundations”

Religion in the Constitution: First Amendment Clauses

May 19 Our Mainstream Religious Heritage

Chapter One

May 24 Forging a New Nation

Chapter Two

Paper One Due: How was religion understood in the founding of America? Use the categories suggested by John Witte, Jr. and cite examples from the primary sources in chapter one that illustrate your point. What are the major convictions about the role of religion in defining America’s sense of identity?


May 26 Religion and American Civic Life

Chapter Three

May 31 The American Religious Landscape

Chapter Four

Paper Two Due: Describe the significance of Robert Bellah’s notion of a Civil Religion in

America. How does he define it? What role does it play? List the impact of what it can do. Use the primary resources to support your argument.

June 2 Religion and Social Movements

Chapter Five

June 7 Religious Groups in the Political Process

Chapter Six

Mayor: The Honorable Bill Foster will be in class this day.

Paper Three Due: Religion has historically played a significant role in social change and transformation. Some argue that it is not a proper function for religion in secular culture. Others claim that the “prophetic” role of religion compels religions to address injustices and to challenge all forms of oppression. Summarize the position of the research pieces in chapter five and then make the case for religion as a change agent in American culture. Be sure to use the primary sources and carefully delineate the line between appropriate and inappropriate involvement.


June 9 Religion and the Presidency

Chapter Seven

June 14 Religion and Congress

Chapter Eight

Paper Four Due: Religion and presidential leadership have been a fascination of citizens and historians. How does personal religious conviction relate to public presidential leadership? From the material in chapter seven make the case that presidents have been careful to distinguish private practice from public performance. What do the integrative and research pieces argue concerning the influence of personal religious conviction on executive action? How specifically does John Kennedy’s speech before the Houston Ministerial Association address this issue?


June 16 Religion and the Supreme Court

Chapter Nine

June 21 Presentation of a Church-State Case

Two Lawyers have agreed to argue a case before the class


June 23 Domestic Policy Debates

Chapter Ten


Paper Five Due: To render your decision in the case argued before you on the constitution-ality of the case presented in class on June 21st. Remember you are dealing with “the rule of law,” “the role of precedent,” and the facts of the particular case. Use the criteria that have been established as discussed in chapter nine, especially the major points of the “Lemon test.”


June 24 The Last Day to Withdraw from Class with a “W”

June 28 Foreign Policy Debates

Chapter Eleven

June 30 Introduction: Religion & Politics in a Comparative Perspective

Class Presentations: The Challenge of Pluralism (Poland)

Catholicism, Politics & Culture in Republic of

Ireland


July 5 Class Presentations: Religion and Politics in Iberia

The Religious Dimension of Israeli Political Life

The Dilemma of the Islamic Republic of Iran


July 7 Class Presentations: Islamism in Contemporary Arab Politics

Religion and Politics in a Secular Europe

Religion and Democracy in South America


July 12 Class Presentations: Looking for Hope in Central America

Religion and Politics in India

Religion and Politics in Japan

July 14 Class Presentations: Religion and Politics in an Open Market

The Political Roles of Religion


July 19 Take Home test due to be turned in at class time. This serves as the final exam for the course.


With the class presentations:


  1. You are to submit and outline of your talk to the instructor the class before your presentation, which is to include three to five discussion questions for the class.

  2. A two page summary of your talk is due the day of the presentation.

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