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Religious Outsiders andthe American State

This course explores the relationship between select outsider religions – Native Americans, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, and Buddhists – and the American state from the beginnings of the nation until the present day. In a country that is premised on the separation of church and state but that also includes diverse religious communities, the place of religion in public life and of the government’s role in regulating and defining religion have long been contested. What do church-state relations look like if we focus on groups outside of the Protestant mainstream? What are the scope and limits of “religious freedom”? In this course, students explore these questions in relationship to immigration, education, national security, first amendment jurisprudence, and more.


This syllabus was created for the Young Scholars in American Religion program.

Shari Rabin

College of Charleston

Public College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Undergraduate Course, Seminar
Class Type

Date Published

Religious Studies, American Studies

General Comparative Traditions
Religous Tradition

Empire/Foreign Policy/Globalism, Immigration/Refugees, Politics/Law/Government, Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars, Race/Ethnicity

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