SOC 291
Religion and Ecology in America Spring 2023
Division II Writing Skills
Cross-listed SOC 291 / ENVI 291 / REL 291

Class Details

This course examines the relationship between religious and environmental thought in America. Exploring a broad range of practices, symbols, and beliefs, we will examine the religious roots and branches of modern environmentalism. Rather than survey the formal teachings of organized religious groups, we will explore the creation and contestation of environmental meaning in the public sphere through literature, art, philosophy, and popular culture. How have writers, thinkers, and artists from different religious and cultural backgrounds shaped the way we think about nature? How have they shaped the way we think about politics, science, and social justice? How have they influenced each other to produce distinctively American forms of eco-spirituality? In pursuit of these questions, we will consider a diverse array of topics and cases, including struggles to protect Native American sacred places, the role of Black churches in fighting environmental racism, Protestant outdoorsmanship, Catholic climate activism, Jewish eco-mysticism, atheist biology, Buddhist therapy, and more.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3767
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Each week each student will either write a 5- to 7-page essay on assigned readings or offer a 2-page critique of their partner's paper.
Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or instructor permission
Enrollment Preferences: Environmental Studies majors and concentrators
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
SOC 291 Division II ENVI 291 Division II REL 291 Division II
WS Notes: Each student will write five five-page papers and five two-page papers in this class. They will be given extensive weekly feedback on their writing in the form of one-on-one meetings and written comments, and they will be given multiple opportunities for revision. Emphasis will be placed on the mechanics of argumentation, logic and rhetoric, and the development of a distinctive voice.
Attributes: AMST Space and Place Electives
ENVI Humanities, Arts + Social Science Electives

Class Grid

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