REL 270

Religion, Activism and Social Justice

How does social change happen? Religious groups were central to many instances of transformative social activism like the Civil Rights movement, Feminism and Occupy Wall Street. This course addresses how religious beliefs, identities, affiliations, and practices shape social activism and justice in the United States and the world. The class examines the multiple ways that religion intersects with power and resistance with particular attention to how religion acts as a resource and identity for enacting both reformative and radical social change. The course uses history, fiction, sociology and theory to examine religion in both conservative and progressive movements including Immigrant rights, Prison Abolition, the Civil Rights movement, white supremacy past and present, suffrage and voting rights, reproductive rights, #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. Students will have the opportunity to do oral histories of people involved in religious activism and study a movement or group in depth.