REL 131: RELIGION IN AMERICA
Missouri State University
SPRING 2008, MWF
Dr. Martha L. Finch
Section 1: 9:00-9:50
Office: Strong 273; Hours: M 3:30-5, W 3-5, F 2:00-
Section 2: 10:00-10:50
Strong Hall 001
Office: Strong 272; Hours: MWF 11:00-noon
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
, Constitution of the United States of America
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands—one
nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
“Pledge of Allegiance,” 1954
Leave me alone, don’t want your promises no more
’Cause rock’n’roll is my religion and my law.
Ozzy Osbourne, “You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll,” 1981
The Bush administration this week continued its outreach campaign to Muslims. President Bush visited the
Washington Islamic Center and released videotaped greetings to Muslims around the world marking the end of
the holy month of Ramadan.
Religion and Ethics Newsweekly
, Dec. 6, 2002
COURSE DESCRIPTION AND GOALS
We cannot understand American culture and society without understanding the critical role religion has
played—and still plays today—in the formation of American identity and values. Our national story is one of
religious foundations and growing religious diversity, making the United States the most religious nation in the
world. From the first inhabitants of this land, the Native Americans, to our Protestant colonial “founding
mothers and fathers,” African slaves, nineteenth-century Catholic and Jewish immigrants, and the many
Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and others arriving during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, religiously
committed people have shaped the American social landscape and been shaped by it. Global religious
movements were born in our soil, as well, like Pentecostalism and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day