Faculty Web Page and MYSJSU Messaging
Copies of the course materials such as the syllabus, major assignment handouts, etc. may be found on my
faculty web page:
You are responsible for regularly checking with
the messaging system through MySJSU.
Religions function as world-views which simultaneously interpret and create the universe in which we live.
Often it is from within religious structures and institutions that people explicitly ask the existential questions:
Why do we exist?
From where do we come? How should we treat others?
What should we do during our
While the answers to such questions may establish the ground for ethical living, mutually exclusive
answers to the same questions can also provoke conflict.
In this course, we will examine how religion is a
major force in contemporary conflicts in America, and how religion plays a role in the ongoing political life of
the United States.
The course addresses the role of institutional religions and personal religious practice in
shaping public debates.
Religious pluralism in the US and the history of recent and contemporary events will
provide us with the contexts for examining these and related “contemporary problems (e.g. ecology, abortion,
war, gender, sexuality and race) as interpreted by a diverse range of American ethno-religious groups” (SJSU
Course Goals and Student Learning Objectives
Students shall be able to describe how religious, gender, ethnic, racial, class, sexual orientation, disability, and/or
age identity are shaped by cultural and societal influences in contexts of equality and inequality (Exams,
Students shall be able to describe historical, social, politicsal, and economic processes producing diversity,
equality, and structured inequalities in the U.S. (Exams, Event Project).