The Christian Right in American (SSP375/REL375)

Nothing has fascinated scholars, journalists, and politicians alike more than the amorphous, ill-defined, and changing thing we call the "Christian Right" in America.  Countless books, articles, television talk shows, special news reports, and even political campaigns and angry protests have focused on the subject.  What do we know about the Christian Right?  Who are they?  What do they believe?  What accounts for their rise over the last thirty years?  This course explores answers to such questions through a study and discussion of recent scholarship in the field.  We will carefully examine the history of the Christian Right as well as the ideologies and beliefs, the people, and the organizations from which it is constituted.  In doing so we will have the opportunity to discuss some of the most divisive social issues of our time, including abortion, stem cell research, homosexuality, education, taxes, creation science, government power, and the separation of church and state.  Studying the Christian Right also provides a window into key concerns in sociology, including the mobilization of social movements, individual and collective identity, the nature of religious faith, and the relationship between the politics and society in contemporary America.

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