Academic Programs 
      

U.S. Christianities: Difference, Diversity, and Borders
(HI-657)

Summer 2008

The story of Christianity in the United States is one about diversity of belief, dissent, myth and history, insiders and outsiders. It is a history about a people who sought to understand God as a new nation was being forged. This class will examine the major trends and religious movements that have helped to shape the Christianities of today.

Meeting Day, Time and Dates:
June 23 – 27
Monday - Friday
9 AM – 4 PM
Lunch break: 12:00 – 1:30

Dr. Daisy L. Machado

Contact Information:
phone: 

email: dmachado@uts.columbia.edu

 

Course Syllabus




COURSE GOALS
Students will:

  • Examine the role of religion in US culture and critique the secular and religious forces that led to the development of its religious plurality,
  • Compare and contrast the contributions of the great diversity of Christianities found in the U.S. and critically consider the implications of their diverse presence on contemporary ministry and culture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS
1. PRIOR TO CLASS SESSION:
Write a five to seven page history of the congregation you are currently serving, or the congregation in which you hold membership or attend regularly. This historical narrative should tell include the following:

  • Origins of the congregation connecting it directly to its denominational body or any other governing body. When did it begin? Early leaders?
  • Key theological identifiers that give it is unique identity (doctrines, beliefs, sacraments).
  • Leadership style and how this style reflects or has moved away from its beginnings. (Be sure to include role of women, role of laity in rituals (preaching, Communion, baptism, healing, etc.))
  • Relations to the other Christian traditions and non-Christian traditions. Explain how this congregation’s historical roots has shaped these relations, has limited them, has expanded them.

The critical history paper is due the first day of class. See guidelines for further information about style. (30% of grade)

2. Active participation in class and attendance at all sessions. (25% of grade)
3. Final written assignment, 10-12 pages, due July 11. (45% of grade)

REQUIRED READING
Finke, Roger & Rodney Stark
The Churching of America, 1776-2005
New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2005.

Gaustad, Edwin & Leigh Schmidt
The Religious History of America
San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2002.

RECOMMENDED READING (ON RESERVE)
Gaustad, Edwin & Mark A. Noll, eds.
A Documentary History of Religion in America to 1877
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003.

Gaustad, Edwin, ed.
A Documentary History of Religion in America Since 1865
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993.

Because of the many decades of history that will be examined during this one-week session, students are advised to read ahead as much as possible. I have listed required readings for every class session (two sessions per day) as well as recommended reading from the documentary readers. The two documentary readers will provide you with the opportunity to encounter the witnesses of history—you will be able to read materials written by men and women who witnessed actual events. They are a way to connect to the past without filters.

GUIDELINES FOR FIRST PAPER: CRITICAL HISTORICAL ANALYSIS
Your first paper is a five to seven-page history of the congregation you serve, are a member of, or are affiliated to in some way, and which you claim as your theological home. As you write, imagine your audience to be the instructor, the other class members, and perhaps the members of the congregation. This history should clearly tell the story of the congregation and its denominational ties while critically reflecting on four important areas: 1. Early beginnings; 2. Outline the key theological identifiers or beliefs that this congregation claims as central to their identity; 3. Leadership style—who is responsible for leading this congregation? It is a top down type of government? Or is it laity driven? What is the role of women and if women do not take leadership roles, why? How does the leadership style of this congregation impact religious rituals such as Holy Communion, baptism, healing services, etc.; 4. Relations of this congregation to the world outside its doors—does it actively reach out to other Christian traditions? To other non-Christian traditions?

WRITING STYLE
Papers are to be formatted so they are single-spaced with one-inch margins; the use of “Times” or “Times New Roman” font, 12 pt., is preferred. Your papers are to follow the use of parenthetical references (do not use footnotes). This style of “in-text referencing” places the author’s last name, the date of publication, and the appropriate page number in parenthesis, which becomes a part of the running text of the paper. Put the period at the end of the sentence but not at the end of the parenthesis.
Example: (Turabian 1996, 175-184)

At the end of the paper include a detailed bibliography of all sources that must include the full name of author, title of book, publication information. For articles from the weekly readings that were handed out, provide name of author of the article and title.

Class Schedule
Monday, June 23, 2008
Session I: “The People Already Here”
Required
:
-The Religious History of America, pp. 3-48
-The Churching of America, pp. 1-24


Recommended:
-A Documentary History…to 1877, pp. 1-8; 24-42; 83-88;
155-159; 181-183; 466-470; 506-514


Session II: “Diversity and the Push for Unity”
Required:

-The Religious History of America, pp. 49-138
-The Churching of America, pp. 25-54

Recommended:
-A Documentary History…to 1877, pp. 9-23; 43-48; 53-58;
63-67; 72-82; 93-98; 99-105; 106-109; 112-114; 149-154;
471-477


Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Session I: “Revivals and the New Nation”
Required:

-The Religious History of America, pp. 139-161
-The Churching of America, pp. 55-116

Recommended:
-A Documentary History…to 1877, pp. 160-173; 183-190;
229-237; 243-245; 252-268; 319-324; 377-380; 382-384

Session II: “Christianity and The Other: Borderlands People”
Required:
-The Religious History of America, pp. 162-202
-The Churching of America, pp. 117-155

Recommended:
-A Documentary History…to 1877, pp. 271-280; 310-318;
371-379; 384-390; 395-401; 428-437; 451-459; 459-461;
463-466; 477-500; 520-529; 536-543

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Session I: “Christianity and Society: Urban Challenges”
Required:
-The Religious History of America, pp. 209-254
-The Churching of America, pp. 156-196

Recommended:
-A Documentary History…to 1877, pp. 328-335; 338-349;
352-367; 501-505; 564-575; 579-584; 591-596

READING AFTERNOON:
USE THIS TIME TO CATCH-UP ON READING AND GET READY FOR FINAL TWO DAYS OF CLASSES.

Thursday, June 26, 2008
Session I: “Challenges of Modernity”
Required:

-The Religious History of America, pp. 255-298

Recommended:
-A Documentary History…Since 1877, pp. 1-5; 10-13; 17-23;
32-39; 61-83; 87-92; 93-124; 125-141; 142-164; 168-177;
180-188; 252-257.

Session II: “Science and Christianity: Faith Seeking Understanding”
Required:

-The Religious History of America, pp. 299-321

Recommended:
-A Documentary History…Since 1877, pp. 305-352; 353-390;
391-435; 439-483
.

CLASS DINNER—THE CLASS PARTICIPANTS WILL ENJOY AN EVENING TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE OUR JOURNEY

Friday, June 27, 2008
Session I: “Civil Religion: The Church in the Public Square”
Required:

-The Religious History of America, pp. 349-373; 374-397

Recommended:
-A Documentary History…Since 1877, pp. 484-508; 509-558;
638-678; 679-708.

Session II: “In the World But Not of The World”
-The Religious History of America, pp. 398-427
-The Churching of America, pp. 197-234

-A Documentary History…Since 1877, pp. 227-251; 278-298;
559-569; 596-607.

Reading for Final Assignment: DUE JULY 11
“Looking Back to Understand: The Search for a Usable Future”
Required:

-The Churching of America, pp. 235-282

Recommended:
-A Documentary History…Since 1877, pp. 575-595; 608-637;
709-740.

 

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