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HIST 383
Religion and American Capitalism Fall 2020
Division II
Cross-listed REL 283 / HIST 383

Class Details

Was Jesus a revolutionary socialist or a savvy salesman? Does capitalism bring prosperity to the virtuous or breed selfishness and sin? Shall the meek inherit the earth or should the hand of the diligent rule? Is it holier to renounce worldly wealth or crusade against poverty? These questions have long preoccupied religious believers, and their changing answers have transformed the history of American capitalism. This course invites students to study that history, from the early 19th century to the present. It will cover such topics as: utopian communes; the political economy of slavery; working-class religion and labor organizing; Christian and Jewish socialism; big business and the Prosperity Gospel; ‘New Age’ spirituality and the counterculture; and conservative Christianity in the age of Wal-Mart and Chick-Fil-A.
The Class: Format: seminar; This course will be hybrid -- accessible to both on-campus and fully remote students. It is designed as a seminar, in which course meetings will revolve around synchronous discussion. Remote learners will be expected to digitally attend and participate in those meetings through Zoom (or a similar program).
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 2693
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Participation in group discussion; five response papers (300-400 words); two essays (4-6 pp); final research paper (8-10 pp).
Prerequisites: None; open to all students.
Enrollment Preferences: Religion and History majors.
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
REL 283 Division II HIST 383 Division II
Attributes: HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada

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