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HIST 3328

History of Religion in America

Fall 2016

Instructor: Dr. Mark Stoll
Office hours: Monday and Wednesday, 10:00-11:30, and by appointment
Office: HH 135     E-mail: mark.stoll@ttu.edu     Web site: http://www.markstoll.net/

"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.


David D. Hall, A Reforming People: Puritanism and the Transformation of Public Life in New England
Click here for study questions
Paul E. Johnson and Sean Wilentz, The Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and Salvation in 19th-Century America
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Edward J. Larson, Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate over Science and Religion
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Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey, The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America
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70% total: Three midterm examinations (15%) and a cumulative final examination (25%)
Click here for a study guide for the final

20% total: Four readings quizzes
10%: A 4-6 page analytical book review

Exams: Exams will consist of short answers and an essay. Students will have an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of religious history as well as to engage issues raised in lectures and readings. Make-up exams will be given on the last Tuesday of classes only.

Quizzes: Quizzes will test students' comprehension and understanding of the readings. Make-up quizzes will be given on the last Tuesday 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, with a cover sheet, and stapled in the upper lefthand corner. Grammar and punctuation must be correct. For links to online writing advice, see http://uwc.ttu.edu/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://uwc.ttu.edu/. No footnotes or bibliography is needed. Cite sources for quotations by putting the page number(s) in parentheses after the quotation marks and before any punctuation, thusly: (p. 57).
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://www.markstoll.net/Bibliographies/US/Religious.htm and an abridged one here http://www.markstoll.net/HIST3328/2016/Short_bib.htm.Students may select a book not on the bibliography 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 printer problems, 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.


Electronic devices distract both the student and nearby students. All electronic devices must be turned off and put away during class time. Texting or other use of cell phones or laptops is prohibited. Laptops may be used with permission of the instructor for class-related activities only, such as note-taking. This means no e-mail, social media, Internet surfing, video watching, or other non-academic activities. Students using unauthorized electronic devices during class will be asked to leave and counted absent for the day. If, during an exam, a student uses any electronic device, the exam will be collected immediately and receive a failing grade.

Note: Any student who intends to observe a religious holy day should make that intention known to the instructor prior to the absence.  A student who is absent from class for the observance of a religious holy day shall be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment scheduled for that day within a reasonable time after the absence.  See University Standard Operating Procedure 34.19.
Note: Any student who, because of a disability, may require special arrangements in order to meet the course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make any necessary arrangements. Students should present appropriate verification from Student Disability Services during the instructor's office hours. Please note: instructors are not allowed to provide classroom accommodations to a student until appropriate verification from Student Disability Services has been provided. For additional information, please contact Student Disability Services in West Hall or call 806-742-2405.
    The professor reserves the right to change this syllabus at his discretion. Changes will be announced in class and posted on the class Webpages.