REL 283
Religion and American Capitalism Fall 2022
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 lead us to worship Mammon? Shall the meek inherit the earth or should the hand of the diligent rule? Is it holy to be poor or is prosperity our moral duty? 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; liberation theology and racial capitalism; and conservative Christianity in the age of Wal-Mart and Chick-Fil-A.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 1360
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

Class Grid

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