Course Content and Outcome Guide for HST 247 Effective Fall 2015

Course Number:
HST 247
Course Title:
Religion in the United States since 1840
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers basic features of native American religions, European backgrounds of Christianity, development of different religious groups in the United States and their impact on American life. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

  • Articulate and interpret an understanding of key historical facts and events in the history of religion in the U.S. since 1840.
  • Identify the influence of culturally based practices, values, and beliefs to analyze how historically defined meanings of difference affect human behavior.
  • Identify and investigate historical theses, evaluate information and its sources, and use appropriate reasoning to construct evidence-based arguments on historical issues.
  • Construct a well organized historical argument using effective, appropriate, and accurate language.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assess by using any combination of the following:

  • Exams
  • Essays
  • Oral presentations
  • Research projects
  • Book critiques
  • Service Learning
  • Class participation and discussion
  • Other creative assignments

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Competencies and Skills:

Analyze and evaluate primary and secondary sources:

  • Connect evidence to its relevant historical context
  • Analyze and evaluate written, artistic, or other evidence
  • Assess the motivation and purpose of evidence

Evaluate different interpretations of past events and construct your own interpretation:

  • Identify a historian€™s thesis and supporting evidence
  • Evaluate the arguments used to support different interpretations of historical issues
  • Develop your own thesis and historical interpretation and use evidence to support it

Think critically about the relationship between past and present events and issues:

  • Recognize and identify historical roots and parallels to current issues

Compare and contrast the experience of diverse groups in society:

  • Listen to and appreciate the experience of students from a variety of  backgrounds
  • Assess the contributions and experiences of various groups in society

Demonstrate college-level communications skills with an emphasis on writing (and may include listening and speaking):

  • Communicate effectively in writing about a historical topic
  • Communicate in writing an understanding of historical process and an evaluation of how concepts or values change over time

Clearly articulate thoughts and ideas to a particular audience which may include:

  • Working collaboratively with other students to evaluate and understand historical events
  • Working collaboratively with others in discussions, debate, or role plays
  • Presenting information in oral presentations

Themes, Concepts, Issues:

  • Changes and persistence in religious beliefs or practices

  • Religion and politics

  • Religious movements, revivalism

  • Theological commonalities among religious beliefs

  • Intolerance

  • Religious freedom

  • Civic religion

  • Religious pluralism

  • Self-understanding (world view)

  • Utopian communities

  • Millennialism

  • Freedom of religion

  • €œImmigrant€ churches

  • Ethnicity, gender and social class

  • Inter- and intra-religious controversies

  • Religious €œcrusades€ and "revivals"

  • Acculturation

  • Anti-Communism

  • Post-modernism