“All significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts not only because of their historical development . . . but also because of their systemic structure . . . .” Many scholars in different fields have come to agree with this famous analysis of Carl Schmitt’s. The secular isn’t secular, but is a particular iteration of certain religious trajectories. This is true not just of theories of the state, but of the public sphere in general. As Talal Asad has argued, the public sphere is not a neutral space. As always, religion is imbricated with practices of and strategies to manage race, sex, and gender. This course analyzes the way religious histories and narratives shape the contemporary American public sphere.
Willie James Jennings, After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging (Eerdmans, 2020).
Janet Jakobsen, The Sex Obsession: Perversion and Possibility in American Politics (New York University, 2020).
Hans Joas, The Sacredness of the Person: A New Genealogy of Human Rights (Georgetown, 2013).
Jonathan Kahn and Vincent Lloyd, eds., Race and Secularism in America (Columbia, 2016)
For Ph.D. students:
David Newheiser, Hope in a Secular Age: Deconstruction, Negative Theology, and the Future of Faith (Cambridge, 2019). This book is pricey—Iliff’s library is purchasing an e-version you will be able to access.
Throughout the quarter, we will have several discussions which will compose a large part of our engagement with each other in this online learning space. For these discussions to be meaningful conversation spaces, we all need to take responsibility for consistent and substantial participation. Over the course of a conversation, substantial engagement means:
Each post need not do all of these things, but your overall participation in each conversation should demonstrate all of these components. You might have several short posts and a handful of longer posts in a week or you might have only a few strategic substantial posts (minimum of 2 posts per discussion). Either way, your overall participation in each conversation will be evaluated for substantial engagement. The goal of this discussion design is to encourage and reward interchange, so post often and engage each other with meaningful questions that open to other questions.
We are looking for posts that help us understand and analyze the text at hand. Application of our texts to new situations is of course the ultimate goal, but we can't do that responsibly without understanding what the author is doing first. And that can be hard!
If your first post (due Wednesday) focuses on one of the assigned papers/readings, please focus your second post (due Friday) on a discussion about another paper/reading.
Each student will prepare 3 papers of 3 double-spaced pages each.
On a week you have signed up to write, you will submit your paper by Monday night on canvas.
Papers will be graded according to the following 4 criteria:
In a short paper the claim typically appears as the last sentence of the introductory paragraph (if it is not there the writer needs clearly to mark where it is, since otherwise readers will assume that sentence is the claim). A claim states the conclusion of the argument put forward in the paper. You have a great deal of freedom here. A claim might state what is the most important idea in the reading, or what the author must assume to make his or her argument, or what the logical extension of that argument might be, or how that argument relates to other readings on our syllabus, or what the author gets right or wrong, etc. In a short paper you will likely not be able to summarize the all the points the author makes, nor should you try. Part of your task of analysis is to prioritize what is most important to lift up for discussion for our class. Your paper will likely not follow the same organization as the reading under analysis, since the logic of your argument will not be the same as the logic of the argument of the reading. If your paragraphs tend to begin “And then . . .; Next . . .” then it is probably time to go back and do at least one more draft and re-think what you are presenting and how. Papers for this class are a little closer to the summary end of the spectrum than a term paper might be, since they are the basis for our discussion. But they are still papers that make engage the text by making a point about the text.
The purpose of the papers is three-fold:
Papers will be graded on the following scale:
4 = A
3 = B
2 = C
1 = D
0 = F
|Mar 24, 2021||Wed||Intros||due by 05:59AM|
|Mar 25, 2021||Thu||Sign up for artifacts||due by 05:59AM|
|Mar 25, 2021||Thu||Group Annotation: Syllabus||due by 05:59AM|
|Mar 25, 2021||Thu||Week 1 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|Mar 25, 2021||Thu||Week 1 Discussion||due by 05:59AM|
|Mar 25, 2021||Thu||Sign up for papers||due by 05:59AM|
|Mar 27, 2021||Sat||Week 1 Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|Mar 30, 2021||Tue||Week 2 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 01, 2021||Thu||Week 2 Discussion||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 03, 2021||Sat||Week 2 Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 06, 2021||Tue||Week 3 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 08, 2021||Thu||Week 3 Discussion||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 08, 2021||Thu||Zoom Discussion||due by 10:00PM|
|Apr 10, 2021||Sat||Week 3 Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 13, 2021||Tue||Week 4 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 15, 2021||Thu||Week 4 Discussion||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 17, 2021||Sat||Week 4 Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 20, 2021||Tue||Week 5 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 22, 2021||Thu||Week 5 Discussion||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 22, 2021||Thu||Zoom Discussion||due by 10:00PM|
|Apr 24, 2021||Sat||Week 5 Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 27, 2021||Tue||Week 6 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 29, 2021||Thu||Week 6 Discussion||due by 05:59AM|
|May 01, 2021||Sat||Week 6 Discussion Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|May 04, 2021||Tue||Week 7 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|May 06, 2021||Thu||Week 7 Discussion||due by 05:59AM|
|May 08, 2021||Sat||Week 7 Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|May 11, 2021||Tue||Week 8 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|May 13, 2021||Thu||Week 8 Discussion||due by 05:59AM|
|May 13, 2021||Thu||Zoom Discussion||due by 10:00PM|
|May 14, 2021||Fri||Group Annotation: Week 8||due by 05:59AM|
|May 15, 2021||Sat||Week 8 Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|May 18, 2021||Tue||Week 9 Papers||due by 05:59AM|
|May 20, 2021||Thu||Week 9 Discussion||due by 05:59AM|
|May 22, 2021||Sat||Week 9 Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|May 25, 2021||Tue||Week 10 papers||due by 05:59AM|
|May 27, 2021||Thu||Week 10 Discussion||due by 05:59AM|
|May 29, 2021||Sat||Week 10 Continued||due by 05:59AM|
|Jun 01, 2021||Tue||Artifacts||due by 05:59AM|
|Jun 01, 2021||Tue||Participation||due by 05:59AM|
|Jun 05, 2021||Sat||annotations||due by 05:59AM|
|Jun 12, 2021||Sat||Place to post slides of lectures||due by 05:59AM|