Overall, the course is intended to encourage and stimulate critical thinking beyond “common sense,” knee-jerk opinions and interpretations. Throughout the class, we will read on a number of topics including the broader and complex processes of identity and race, politics and nationalism, faith and community, economics and financial pressures, citizenship and public life, prejudice and discrimination, media and technology, as well as celebrity and symbolic leadership. The tone of this course will be analytical with a conscientious use of sociological concepts with an eye toward discerning patterns of macro-change. For example, race-ethnicity is not a biological, physiological, or genetic characteristic; it is a social characteristic, one that always involves particular religious beliefs and practices and an international network of people who continually reproduce religious frameworks and religious structures. And religion is not merely a set of dogmatic beliefs or static church membership but also a set of “lived practices” that touch on nonreligious activity in unanticipated ways. The development of our knowledge of the relations between race-ethnicity and religious faith and practice in relation to politics and economics will be Page 2 historically informed and empirically grounded. Your questions and interests are welcome as they emerge.
Private College or University Institution Type
Undergraduate Course Class Type
2017 Date Published
Religious Studies, Political Science, Sociology Discipline
General Comparative Traditions Religous Tradition
Politics/Law/Government, Race/Ethnicity Topics