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American Prophets: Religion & Politics in America

This course examines the development of the category of the “prophet” in American history and culture, especially the prophetic category that has arisen to address “sins” committed by the American state and/or people. We will examine “prophets” from multiple communities, including African Americans, Native Americans, social justice advocates, anti-poverty movements, as well as religious minority communities who have been the victims of persecution and suspicion. We focus mostly on examining the category of prophet in regards to the relationship between religion and the broader society-especially as these prophets have defined “sins” (e.g. slavery, racism, Indian removal, poverty, religious persecution, among others) as when: the experience of Americans have not matched up with the promises of the American democratic and pluralistic experiment to guarantee all people “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and “equality before the law.” We will also examine the primary rhetorical style by which prophets have called out-and called America to account for-these sins: the jeremiad tradition.

Max Perry Mueller

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Community College, Public College or University, Private College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Intro, Undergraduate Course
Class Type

Date Published

Religious Studies

Other Christianities, Protestant
Religous Tradition

Business/Capitalism/Labor, Class/Power, Empire/Foreign Policy/Globalism, Politics/Law/Government, Race/Ethnicity

Link to Resource
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