Course Home Page
Department of History
Journal of Southern
Instructor: Briane Turley, Ph.D.
Fall Semester, 2003
Office: 402 White Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
On-line Office Hours: (by appointment).
Office Hours are arranged as either a text-based chat using the
course WebCT system or audio chat using AOL Instant
German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer once remarked that
"it has been granted to the Americans less than any other nation on
earth to realize the visible unity of the church of God." What is
religion's role and function for a society as religiously pluralistic
as the United States? Bonhoeffer's striking observation reflects upon
American expressions of the Christian tradition only. Yet a countless
variety of other traditions can be found throughout the United
Our survey of religion in America
will address this question of pluralism vs. cultural identity by
reference to the historical development of religion in the U.S. We
will begin with a careful examination of Native-American religion and
the European religious traditions transplanted into the sixteenth-
and seventeenth-century American milieu. We will also investigate the
development of traditions indigenous to the North American continent
and examine the underlying American consciousness of "manifest
destiny," "sacred space," and the pervading characterization of
Americans as a "chosen people."
Three book review responses (30%) Students will read all books listed
below and respond to a short series of questions that demonstrate the
their familiarity with the primary themes of the books and their
ability to assess each book's significance for the study of American
religion. The Hudson-Corrigan text is required reading but is not
assigned for review. Since there are four required books in addition
to the Hudson-Corrigan text, students may select one book that they
need not review.
When grading book reviews, the
instructor will pay attention to the topical content of the paper and
will also evaluate grammar, spelling, punctuation, and the rhetorical
devices of style and logic. Students may also wish to consult William
Strunk and E.B. White, The Elements of Style. 3rd ed. New York:
Macmillan, 1979. For your convenience, an electronic version of
Elements of Style is available at http://www.bartleby.com/141/index.html.
Students complete five of six objective on-line quizzes. If you elect
to take all six quizzes, the instructor will drop the lowest grade.
Quizzes may be taken at any time before the deadline.
However, if a student fails to take the quiz by the
scheduled deadline, it will no longer be available at the WebCT site,
and the student will receive a zero for that quiz.
Comprehensive Final examination (25%) will be made
available during the week of December 7-13. You may take the exam at
any time during the week, but once you begin you must complete it
within 3 hours.
Web-Based Term Paper
(30%) Students may opt out of the final examination by
submitting a web project to be publisheded at the American Religious
Experience Student Center Site. As an
incentive, the term paper carries a potential 5% extra-credit
component. If you choose this option, you must inform the instructor
by e-mail before October 15. In addition, students must inform the
instructor of the topic of their web project on or before October 31.
Web projects must be submitted on or before December 10.
Class participation (15%) Student attendance (even
virtual attendence) and participation is important to the
success of any class. Active participation in the course discussion
area will count 15% toward the final grade. Each student must post
at least 25 messages to the course discussion string before
the end of the semester. Messages are evaluated based on content
quality, so they should reflect familiarity with lecture material
and/or the readings. Please note that like many of our students, the
instructor work other full-time jobs. Consequently, response to
e-mail queries may be slow at times. The instructor will respond to
e-mails only in the evening and Saturdays.
Tardy work A largely "asynchronous", seminar-level
course, American Religious History on-line provides students with
significant flexibility with assignment completions. Assingment will
be posted and made available for several days, and students may elect
the time most convenient for them to complete each one within the
scheduled time window. Only under the most rigorous circumstances may
a student obtain permission to submit late work. Such circumstances
might include a medical emergency attested to by a medical doctor or
a documentable death in the student's immediate family.
Course readings are available on-line at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Some may also be obtained at reasonable cost
through discount book sites such as Add All
1) Winthrop S. Hudson and John Corrigan, Religion in
America, 6th edition, 1998.
2) Joel W. Martin, The Land Looks after
Us: A History of Native American Religion.
3) Abraham Cahan, The Rise of David Levinsky (any
4) Robert Orsi, The Madonna of 115th Street: Faith and Community
in Italian Harlem.
5) Andrew Manis, A Fire You Can't Put Out: The Civil Rights Life
of Birmingham’s Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, 1999
Other selected primary source materials will appear as hypertext
links at the online course syllabus. Students who have not yet
activated their University accounts must do so at their earliest
convenience. Selected readings are appended as hypertext links to the
online version of this syllabus. Please note that the midterm and
final exam study guides will be available from the course Web site
and will not be distributed in class.
Please contact the instructor immediately if you have a disability
that may interfere with your enjoyment or performance in this
web-based course. The student should also make appropriated
arrangements with Disability Services at (304) 293-6700. The
instructor welcomes individuals with disabilities in his classes and
will respond quickly to accommodation issues whenever possible.
Students requiring assistance with assistive technology devices
should contact the instructor.
Students should be familiar with the WVU statement on Academic
Integrity/Dishonesty published in the undergraduate catalog. In
keeping with University policy, Plagiarism, cheating on exams and
quizzes, submitting another person's work as your own and all other
behaviors defined as academic dishonesty will be referred to the Dean
of Arts and Sciences office and to the Dean of the college in which
the student is enrolled.
The course modules may be viewed by logging in at the WebCT
||Course/Web CT Introductions.
Use this week to review the Course site and become familiar
||Introduction to European
||Puritanism in America
Religion in America
Take Quiz #1
||The Impact of Enlightenment
in American Religion
and The Millennial Hope
Take Quiz #2
||Second Great Awakening
Native American Religion
review is due
Take Quiz #3
Take Quiz #4
||Mind Cure: Escape from
Rise of David Levinsky
review is due
||American Catholic Church in
the 20th Century
Judaism in the U.S.
(View "Righteous Remnant" video)
Take Quiz #5
The Madonna of 115th
Street review is due
After the Civil War
Take Quiz #6
||Religions of the New Age
View "Jolo Serpent
|A Fire You Can't
Put Out review is due December 5.
By Friday, December 12, 11:45
p.m., you must complete the final examination. Submission of
optional term paper is due by evening of December