Religion has been a complicated and contested, yet central, organizing force in the making of black life in the America. At the same time, African American religious life has been the subject of much scrutiny throughout the history of the United States, serving arguments that advocated abolition, emancipation and full enfranchisement, but also functioning as evidence to justify enslavement and second-class citizenship. To better understand such phenomena, this course provides a chronological survey that introduces students to a range of ideas and practices, individuals and institutions, as well as important themes and topics in African American (thus American) religious history. Primary attention is given to Afro-Protestantism in the United States; however, throughout the course attention is directed to religious diversity and varying religious traditions/practices in different diasporic locales.
- Professor: Josef Sorett