Spring 2008
Fully Enrolled

SOCS 618
The End of the World: End Times in American Religious Thought

McAlister,Elizabeth

01/12/2008 - 01/21/2008
Note: Special Schedule 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Public Affairs Center 421; Science Tower 72

Special Schedule: One-week immersion, June 14-18 (Monday-Friday) 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

This course examines how some religious groups in the U.S. herald the hastening of the End Times, when a Messiah will appear to cleanse the earth of all unrighteousness. We will focus on selected societies in U.S. history including Puritans, Messianic Jews, Christian Fundamentalists, Branch Davidians, Rastafari, the Nation of Islam and Christian Identity, and on genres of representation including fiction, film and popular music. Among the themes we will discuss will be Americanism, or the ways groups imagine the United States to be favored by God, religious politics, and the ways that American eschatologies ("end-of-the-world" theologies) are gendered and racialized.

Texts to be studied include Nancy Ammerman, Bible Believers; Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower; David Chidester, Salvation and Suicide; Tim LaHaye, Left Behind; Hal Lindsey, Late Great Planet Earth; Mark Jurgensmeyer, Terror in the Mind of God.

Students will be responsible for a one-page weekly response paper, two mini-projects, and an in-class presentation.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
http://www.wesleyan.edu/masters/courses/Spring_2008/spring08_syllabi/syb_socs618.html


Elizabeth McAlister (B.A. Vassar College; M.A., Ph.D. Yale University) is associate professor and chair of religion, and professor of African American studies and American studies. She is author of Rara! Vodou, Power, and Performance in Haiti and Its Diaspora (University of California Press, 2002). Click here for more information about Elizabeth McAlister and click here for more information about her work.


ENROLLMENT INFORMATION

Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Nancy Ammerman, BIBLE BELIEVERS (Rutgers Press), Paperback

Octavia Butler, PARABLE OF THE SOWER (Grand Central Publishing), Paperback

David Chidester, SALVATION AND SUICIDE (Indiana University Press), Paperback

Tim LaHaye, LEFT BEHIND (Living Books), Paperback

Hal Lindsey, LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH (Zondervan), Paperback

READING MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE AT BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 BROAD STREET, MIDDLETOWN, 860-685-7323 Order your books online

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