See the list of required texts for abbreviations.
Aug. 25: Introduction
In class: Correspondence between George Washington and the Hebrew Congregation in Newport (1790), with annotations by Jonathan D. Sarna.
In class: John F. Kennedy, speech to the Houston Ministerial Association, 1960 (transcript).
Aug. 27: Colonial New England
Gordon, ch. 1: “The New Constitutional World.”
Sept. 1: Labor Day, no class
Sept. 3: Colonial Virginia
Sehat, ch. 1: “Contested Liberties.”
Sept. 8: Federal government and disestablishment
Selections from revolutionary federal and state constitutions.
Sehat, ch. 2: “A Godless Government?”
Due: First annotated primary source.
Sept. 10: Disestablishment in Virginia
Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1786).
James Madison, “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments” (1785).
Thomas E. Buckley, “Property: ‘To Reconcile All the Good People,’” ch. 4 of Establishing Religious Freedom: Jefferson’s Statute in Virginia (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013), 82–115.
Sept. 15: Disestablishment in Massachusetts and Connecticut
Lyman Beecher, Autobiography, Correspondence, &c. of Lyman Beecher, ed. Charles Beecher (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1864), 1:342–44.
John Leland, The Rights of Conscience Inalienable (New London, CT, 1791).
Sept. 17: Blasphemy
People v. Ruggles, 8 Johns. 290 (1811)
Sehat, ch. 3: “The Moral Establishment.”
Due: Pick up my comments of your annotated primary source in office hours only no later than 5 p.m.
Sept. 22: Sunday mails
Petitions about Sunday mails from William Addison Blakely, American State Papers Bearing on Sunday Legislation (1891), 59–68, 82–100.
Richard R. John, “Taking Sabbatarianism Seriously: The Postal System, the Sabbath, and the Transformation of American Political Culture,” Journal of the Early Republic 10, no. 4 (1990): 517–567.
Sept. 24: Catholics and the trustee controversy
Lay trusteeism at Norfolk, Virginia, 1819, in John Tracy Ellis, ed., Documents of American Catholic History (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1962), 220–27.
Patrick Carey, “The Laity’s Understanding of the Trustee System, 1785–1855,” Catholic Historical Review 64, no. 3 (1978): 357–76.
Sept. 29: The Bible and the schools
H. F. Durant, Defence of the Use of the Bible in the Public Schools: Argument of Henry F. Durant, Esq., in the Eliot School Case (Boston, 1859).
Green, ch. 2: “The Development of the ‘No-Funding Principle’”
Oct. 1: Moral reform
Michael P. Young, “A National Wave of Confessional Protests, 1829–1839,” ch. 5 of Bearing Witness Against Sin: The Evangelical Birth of the American Social Movement (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), 118–155.
Oct. 6: Synagogue and state
Jonathan D. Sarna, “Church-State Dilemmas of American Jews,” in Jews and the American Public Square, eds. Alan Mittleman, Jonathan D. Sarna, and Robert Licht (Rowman and Littlefield, 2002), 47–68.
Oct. 8: Abolition and Civil War
Angelina Grimké, An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South (New York: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1836).
Noll, ch. 1: “The Bible, Slavery, and the ‘Irrepressible Conflict’”
Oct. 13: Columbus Day, no class
Oct. 14: Cincinnati Bible War (Mason Monday)
Newspaper accounts of the Cincinnati Bible War.
Green, ch. 3: “The Cincinnati ‘Bible War’ of 1869–1873.”
Oct. 15: Midterm Exam
Due: Midterm examination.
Oct. 20: Mormons and polygamy
Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1878).
Sarah Barringer Gordon, “Law and Patriarchy at the Supreme Court,” ch. 4 of The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America (Charlotte: University of North Carolina Press, 2002), 119–45.
Oct. 22: Women’s movement
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, introduction to The Woman’s Bible (1895, 1898).
Sehat, ch. 5: “Moral Reproduction and the Family.”
Sehat, ch. 7: “Women’s Rights, Woman’s Individuality, and the Bible.”
Oct. 27: Vice and prohibition
Sehat, ch. 9: “A Conflict of Authorities.”
Oct. 29: A Christian amendment
Excerpts from National Reform Association, Proceedings of the National Convention to Secure the Religious Amendment of the Constitution of the United States (Philadelphia, 1874), as specified in class and in the annotated primary source assignment.
Green, ch. 4: “The Amendmentists.”
Due: Second annotated primary source due no later than today.
Nov. 3: Scopes trial
Edward J. Larsen, “The Trial of the Century,” ch. 7 of Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate over Science and Religion (New York: Basic Books, 1997).
Nov. 5: Jehovah’s Witnesses
American Civil Liberties Union, The Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses (ACLU, 1941).
Gordon, ch. 2: “The Worship of Idols.”
Nov. 10: Money, prayer, and the Bible in schools
Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947).
Gordon, ch. 3: “The Almighty and the Dollar.”
Nov. 12: Catholics and Vatican II
Excerpts from John Courtney Murray, We Hold These Truths: Catholic Reflections on the American Proposition (Sheed and Ward, 1960). Read introduction and chapter 1.
Dignitatis Humanae (Declaration on Religious Freedom) (Second Vatican Council, December 7, 1965).
Nov. 17: Religion and civil rights movement
Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (April 16, 1963).
Noll, ch. 4: “Religion and the Civil Rights Movement.”
Noll, ch. 5: “The Civil Rights Movement as the Fulcrum of Recent Political History.”
Nov. 19: Religious Right and Left
Excerpts from Jerry Falwell, Listen, America! (Doubleday, 1980).
Gordon, ch. 5: “Holy War.”
Nov. 24: Divorce and Marriage
Gordon, ch. 6: “Covenants of Love.”
Nov. 26: Thanksgiving break, no class
December 1: Religion and Corporations / Hobby Lobby
Winnifred Sullivan, “The Impossibility of Religious Freedom,” The Immanent Frame, July 8, 2014.
Bring to class an opinion piece on Hobby Lobby from a reputable source.
Dec. 3: Conclusion
Last day of class.
Due: Secondary source comparison paper.
Due: All incomplete assignments must be turned in by the start of class.
Final exam: Monday, Dec. 15, 1:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Due: Final examination.