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Fall 2018  |  SOC 4309 Section 001: Religion in American Public Life: Culture, Politics, & Communities (33493)

Instructor(s)
Class Component:
Lecture
Credits:
3 Credits
Grading Basis:
Student Option
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person Term Based
Class Attributes:
UMNTC Liberal Education Requirement
Meets With:
SOC 4309H Section 001
RELS 4309 Section 001
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
 
09/04/2018 - 12/12/2018
Tue, Thu 11:15AM - 12:30PM
UMTC, West Bank
Blegen Hall 115
Enrollment Status:
Open (17 of 18 seats filled)
Course Catalog Description:
How diversity/vitality of American religion shape public life. How religious groups engage in political action, foster understandings of democracy/styles of civic participation. Volunteering/service activities. Race, poverty, the family, sexuality. prereq: Soc majors/minors must register A-F
Class Notes:
Click link for more detailed course information: http://classinfo.umn.edu/?edgell+SOC4309+Fall2018
Class Description:
Many people think of religion as a private matter, having to do with what people believe about god or the afterlife. But in the United States religion has a strong public presence. That presence is changing, as Americans become less religious (especially in younger generations) and as minority religious groups become more visible.

The purpose of this course is to help you understand contemporary American religion, in all its diversity and inter-generational differences. How does religion foster volunteering and civic engagement? How does it shape political partisanship and voting? What issues draw religious people into social movements, why do they care about those issues, and why do our battles over law and social policy take shape the way they do? Religious discourses foster particular understandings of gender, race, citizenship and democracy and religious groups train people in particular styles of civic and political engagement. This is why religion in the United States has such a large -- and contested -- public impact.

This course is open to majors and non-majors and fulfills the LibEd requirement for Civic Life and Ethics. The course also helps students build the Core Career Competencies of Analytical and Critical Thinking and Engaging Diversity.
Learning Objectives:
Civic Life and Ethics LibEd learning objectives: Civic life is comprised of voluntary, face-to-face arenas of activity that are not controlled by the state, arenas were citizens debate ethics, broadly conceived, and where ideas of the good society are formed, debated, shared, and contested. The civic arena is diverse, with many types of secular and religious organizations. Through its role in civic life, religion is an important and visible arena for the construction of ethical discourse and understandings of the public (and the private) good. This course will help you develop a critical understanding of the ethical claims made by spokespersons for religious organizations, viewpoints, and movements, and assess the role that such claims have in shaping public discourse, legal outcomes, and policy outcomes. In a supportive environment, students will be prompted to consider their own religious and ethical beliefs in light of the range of such views in contemporary American society. Weekly student-led discussions will help you to use the insights of scholarly works to become more critical and educated readers of mass-media-based news about religion in our society. The course emphasizes the diversity and variety of religious and political traditions in the United States, and that religious arenas are only one of many locations for the development of ethical discourse in American life.

Career Competencies in Analytical and Critical Thinking and Engaging Diversity: In this course, students will learn how to recognize multiple points of view as valid and evaluate issues from multiple perspectives, and account for their own biases. They will learn to recognize when media or popular discussions of religion in public life do not provide complete information for making an informed assessment, and where to go for more complete information. Students will understand how to appreciate multiple worldviews (including diverse religious and secular viewpoints) and understand how culture and power interact to shape public religious expression -- and responses to that expression.
Grading:
25% Midterm Exam
25% Final Exam
50% Other assignments, including 2 in-class presentations (one on a class reading, one on a media account of religion in public life -- for each, students will also turn in a short summary and discussion questions).
Exam Format:
short answer and essay
Class Format:
50% Lecture
50% Discussion
Workload:
50-100 Pages Reading Per Week
5-7 Pages Writing Per Term
2 Exam(s)
2 Presentation(s): Two presentations will be made to your small group (1st on a class reading, 2nd on a media/news account on course-related themes -- for each you will turn in a 1-page summary and discussion questions).
HONORS STUDENTS: will do additional work determined in consultation with the professor the first week of the semester.
Textbooks:
https://bookstores.umn.edu/course-lookup/33493/1189
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
30 March 2018

Fall 2013  |  SOC 4309 Section 001: Religion in American Public Life: Culture, Politics, & Communities (34232)

Instructor(s)
Class Component:
Lecture
Credits:
3 Credits
Grading Basis:
Student Option
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person Term Based
Class Attributes:
UMNTC Liberal Education Requirement
Meets With:
RELS 4309 Section 001
SOC 4309H Section 001
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
 
09/03/2013 - 12/11/2013
Mon, Wed 01:00PM - 02:15PM
UMTC, West Bank
Blegen Hall 415
Course Catalog Description:
How diversity/vitality of American religion shape public life. How religious groups engage in political action, foster understandings of democracy/styles of civic participation. Volunteering/service activities. Race, poverty, the family, sexuality.
Class Description:
This course will focus on the "public face" of religion in the U.S. When it comes to belief, identity, and belonging, the American religious landscape is one of diversity ? and increasingly rapid change. The post-1965 wave of immigration has increased the number and visibility of new religious groups in the United States. And Americans under the age of 35 are embracing religious practices and beliefs but not organized religion ? fully 30% of younger generations claim no religious affiliation, a rapid and fundamental shift from their parents? generation. The purpose of this course is to help you understand contemporary American religion, in all its diversity and inter-generational differences, with a special focus on the public impact of religious groups and leaders. How does religion affect local communities, shape our political discourse, foster social movements, and influence national policies? We will explore the answers to these questions through examining sociological research on how religious groups engage in political action, foster particular understandings of democracy and styles of civic participation, influence volunteering, and shape individuals? views on issues such as race, poverty, science education, the family, and sexuality. Weekly student-led discussions will help you to use the insights of scholarly works to become more critical and educated readers of mass-media-based news about religion in our society. Civic life is comprised of voluntary, face-to-face arenas of activity that are not controlled by the state. Civic arenas are where citizens debate ethics, broadly conceived ? where ideas of ?the good society? are formed, debated, shared, and contested. The civic arena is diverse, with many types of secular and religious organizations. Through its role in civic life, religion is an important and visible arena for the construction of ethical discourse and understandings of the public (and the private) good. This course will help you develop a critical understanding of the ethical claims made by spokespersons for religious organizations, viewpoints, and movements, and assess the role that such claims have in shaping public discourse, legal outcomes, and policy outcomes. In a supportive environment, students will be prompted to consider their own religious and ethical beliefs in light of the range of such views in contemporary American society. The course emphasizes the diversity and variety of religious and political traditions in the United States, and that religious arenas are only one of many locations for the development of ethical discourse in American life. This course is open to majors and non-majors and fulfills the LibEd requirement for Civic Life and Ethics.
Grading:
25% Midterm Exam
25% Final Exam
50% In-class Presentations Other Grading Information: In-class presentations are made to a small group (5 students); each presentation counts as 20% of your grade, and 10% is for attending group discussions of other members' presentations.
Exam Format:
short answer and essay
Class Format:
50% Lecture
50% Discussion
Workload:
50-100 Pages Reading Per Week
5-7 Pages Writing Per Term
2 Exam(s)
2 Presentation(s)
Other Workload: Two presentations will be made to your small group (1st on a class reading, 2nd on a media/news account on course-related themes -- for each you will turn in a 1-page summary and discussion questions).
Textbooks:
https://bookstores.umn.edu/course-lookup/34232/1139
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
4 April 2013

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