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Religion, the State, and American Politics

The W&M Washington Center is pleased to welcome Professor Patton Burchett to Hybrid DC Summer Session I!
  • RELG 346
  • 3 credits, COLL 200, CSI; COLL 300 pending
  • DC Summer Session I, course dates: June 1-July 2, 2021
  • In-person week tentatively scheduled for: June 28-July 2, 2021
    • 5 in-person evening sessions: 5:30-8:30pm
  • Networking Reception: July 1, 6:30-8:30pm
  • CRN: 32625

A critical approach to national and state politics in the United States addressing a range of religious traditions. This course investigates the relationship between religion and politics in the United States and beyond. We will deal with key issues around topics including: religious freedom (the free exercise of religion in America as well U.S. foreign policy efforts for religious liberty abroad); the separation of church and state (its history and challenges to it); Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and challenges faced by religious minorities in the U.S.; American discourses of multiculturalism, religious pluralism, and interfaith dialogue & tolerance; and the influence of Christian nationalism and the Religious Right in American politics. Special emphasis will be given to the study of (a) the historical context of particular political discourses about religion, and (b) important legal cases debating the place and meaning of “religion” in American society.