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HIST 3328

History of Religion in America

Fall 2014

Instructor: Dr. Mark Stoll
Office: HH 135 Office hours: Monday and Wednesday, 11:00-12:30, and by appointment
E-mail: mark.stoll@ttu.edu     Web site: http://courses.ttu.edu/mstoll

"History of Religion in America" examines the ways that Americans have expressed and acted on religious belief from before Columbus until the present. The course investigates how religion has influenced (and been influenced by) society, ideas, economics, politics, gender relations, and many other historical factors. Through lecture, readings, and discussion, students will explore the sometimes strange and fascinating world of religion in America.


Allan Greer, Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits
Edmund S. Morgan, The Puritan Dilemma: The Story of John Winthrop, 3rd ed.
Paul E. Johnson and Sean Wilentz, The Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and Salvation in 19th-Century America
Kathleen Flake, The Politics of American Religious Identity: The Seating of Senator Reed Smoot, Mormon Apostle
Edward J. Larson, Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate over Science and Religion


60% total: Two midterm examinations (17%) and a cumulative final examination (26%)
25% total: Five readings quizzes
15%: A 4-6 page analytical book review

Exams: Exams will be essay exams. Students will have an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of religious history as well as to engage issues raised in lectures and readings. Missed exams can be made up on the last day of classes only.

Quizzes: Quizzes will test students' comprehension and understanding of the readings. Missed quizzes can be made up on the last day of classes only.

Paper: Students will write an analytical book review on a book of their choice, drawn from the professor's bibliography (excluding edited collections of essays or books required for the course). Papers must be between four and six pages in length, double spaced, with one-inch margins all around, in 12-point Times New Roman, and stapled in the upper lefthand corner. Of course, grammar and punctuation must be correct. For links to online writing advice, see http://english.ttu.edu/uwc01/Resources/default.asp. Also the University Writing Center (paid for by your fees!) would be happy to help you polish your writing. They can help you in person or via the Internet, and can be reached through their Website: http://english.ttu.edu/uwc01/.
Instructions for the analytical book review: For this review, students will select a book on religious history from the bibliography of American religious history on the professor's Website. There is a full bibliography here http://courses.ttu.edu/mstoll/Bibliographies/US/Religious.htm and an abridged one here http://courses.ttu.edu/mstoll/HIST3328/2014/Short_bib.htm.Students may select another book if the professor approves it. The book review will have three sections:

Late Papers: The professor accepts late papers, but deducts 5 points from the paper grade for each weekday they are late. Papers handed in after the beginning of class period on the day they are due are already late. No computer excuses accepted; give yourself extra time for last-minute disasters like running out of ink, etc.
Plagiarism: Using text written by someone else (even in a close paraphrase) without clear and unambiguous acknowledgment is academic dishonesty and will result in an "F" for the course.


The professor will take roll at the beginning of each class. Students with a perfect attendance record will receive three bonus points on their final grades. Students with more than two absences will receive one point off their final grades for each absence over two. The instructor will accept excuses in cases of true need as documented appropriately.


Because electronic devices distract both the student and other students around them, all electronic devices must be turned off during class time. This means no texting or other use of cell phones, and no laptops. Laptops may be used if the instructor gives permission, but students must sit towards the front of the class and use the computer for class-related activities only, such as note-taking. This means no e-mail, social media, Internet surfing, watching videos, or other non-academic activities.

Note: Students who, because of a disabling condition, may require some special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make necessary accommodations. Students should present appropriate verification from the Disabled Students Services in the Dean of Students Office.

The professor reserves the right to change this syllabus at his discretion. Changes will be announced in class and posted on the class Webpages.