Religion _ Politics Syllabus 2005 by keralaguest


									APLS 493L                                                                             Steve Millies
Summer I 2005                                                         
Office Hours:                                                                         803.641.3383
       MTWTh 12:30-1:30 p.m.                                                       C-2 H&SS Bldg




Supreme Court Cases (links on course webpage)
Al-Fārabi, The Political Writings (on reserve at USCA Library – pages 93-113)
Edmund Burke. “Tracts Relating to the Popery Laws.” Selected Writings of Edmund Burke. (on
       reserve at USCA Library – pages 227-237)
William Dolan. “No Child Left Behind’s Faith-Based Initiative Provision and the Establishment
       Clause.” (download from course webpage)
E.J. Heubel. “Church and State in England: The Price of Establishment.” (download from
       course webpage)
John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration (purchase from bookstore or link on webpage)
Michael Novak, On Two Wings (purchase from bookstore)
Marvin Olasky. “The White House Faith-Based Initiative: What’s Going Right, What’s Going
       Wrong?” (download from course webpage)
Mark Weldon Whitten, The Myth of Christian America (purchase from bookstore)


        Religion seems never to be far from discussions of American politics, probably because
of the close relationship between religion and politics throughout history. Whether we discuss
the contributions of religious traditions to politics in the form of law codes and moral systems, or
whether we discuss political tyrannies justified through appeals to religion, there can be no
escaping this most essential and enduring dialectic.
        Our course will concentrate on the American experience of religion and politics,
beginning with a consideration of contemporary church-state questions (the White House Office
of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives) and applicable opinions of the United States Supreme
Court. The second half of our course will begin with an examination of the church-state question
in the context of the issues surrounding the American Founding, and then move to a more
historical consideration of the relationship between religion and politics that will look back
through history and around the globe.
        Upon completion of this intensive study, students will (1) appreciate the core issues at
stake in the meeting of religion and politics, including the valuable contributions made by

religious traditions to political life and the dangers posed by the integration of religion into
politics or politics into religion; (2) be able to articulate and comment upon the evolution of
American constitutional theory concerning the church-state relationship; (3) understand the
various historical and intellectual forces at work in the separation of church and state at the time
of the Founding; (4) relate the American experience of church-state relations to other examples
from around the world and throughout history; and, finally, (5) articulate differences between
and likenesses of religion and politics as a means of understanding their relationship.


       Class Participation                                                           15%
       Weekly Quizzes                                                                15%
       Mid-Term Exam                                                                 15%
       In-Class Presentation                                                         15%
       Research Paper                                                                15%
       Final Examination                                                             25%

        Class Participation, Absences, and Tardiness
        Your class participation grade is based solely on my impression of your contributions to
our semester-long discussion, but remember: all serious questions and comments have a place in
the classroom. Sometimes not knowing an answer can lead to the best participation. All
questions and comments contribute to your participation grade, whether you know the answer to
a question or not.
        Questions about any of the requirements may be asked at any time. If you are uncertain
about something, it is often better to ask a question in advance than try to solve a problem after it
has happened.
        This class has no attendance policy, as such. However, your regular attendance is
directly related to the liveliness of our classroom discussions and to your performance on
assignments and exams. Regular attendance is strongly encouraged. Further, I will accept your
assignments only from you personally, in class. Exceptions will be made for absences due to
documented illnesses or emergencies. Please see the make-up policy below.
        Please be aware that recurring tardiness or absences will inevitably affect your
participation grade. You cannot be a good class participant if you are not in class. Moreover,
excessive tardiness and absences inevitably will lead to a poor final grade.

       Weekly Quizzes
       Quizzes will be offered once per week. The quiz format will be short-answer essay, and
each quiz should take no more than ten minutes to complete. Quizzes will be offered promptly at
the beginning of class.
       The purpose of these quizzes is to test reading comprehension, only. In other words, their
purpose is to measure how well students are reading for class. For the student who reads and
prepares conscientiously, no additional preparation for these quizzes will be necessary.

        Research Papers
        This course will require a major research paper (20-25 pages in length). A list of topics
from which you may choose is available online at the course webpage
( Each topic may be addressed by only one student, and
those topics are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Your topic must be selected no
later than June 1.
        A paper proposal (requirements and format for this assignment are found on the course
webpage) will be due in class on June 9. A 10-minute, in-class presentation of a draft of the
paper will be made at an assigned time, either on June 23 or on June 27. The final draft will be
due at the time of the final exam.
        This assignment is intended to be a major project that will address a substantive question
about the relationship of religion to politics from a political, legal, philosophical, sociological, or
theological perspective. Its purpose is to help students come to understand how to complete a
major research task. As a result, this project presumes close supervision by and collaboration
with the instructor. Time will be set aside throughout the summer session to make this close
supervision and collaboration possible, including a mandatory office visit with the instructor and
a class day spent at the USCA Library (both during the third week).

       Two examinations will comprise thirty percent of your grade for this course. All
examinations be composed of essay questions. Exams should take about one hour to complete.
       The mid-term examination will be offered on June 13, 2005. The final exam will be
offered according to the published university schedule.

         Writing Assignments
         All student papers should be submitted on standard, letter-sized white paper, word-
processed in Times New Roman font (no larger than 12-point size). Papers should conform to
the Chicago Manual of Style (a brief overview is available online at; further information is available at the Reference
Desk of the USCA Library, or in the Writing Room at H&SS 112).
         Students are advised to take great care with their writing, and to be very sure that the
draft they submit represents work they wish to be graded. For writers of every skill level this
means that the work has been through more than one draft and that at least one other person has
proofread it for stylistic, spelling, and grammar errors. Any errors of these types found in a
paper will be presumed by the instructor to reflect a lack of care in preparing the assignment, and
a grade will be assigned accordingly. A great deal of assistance is available to student writers in
the Writing Room, and every student would be wise to take advantage of this service.
         ANY words that do not reflect the student’s own original work must be indicated
appropriately (i.e., quotation marks or a block quote) and cited to their source – even if the
quotation is only one word. ALL failures to cite properly the work of other authors will be dealt
with in accordance with USCA policy. See the section below concerning Academic Dishonesty.

       Academic Dishonesty
       Academic dishonesty in any form is the most serious offense you can commit as a
student. All students are expected to observe the USCA Honor Code, as defined in the Student

        According to the 2004-2005 edition of the USCA Student Handbook, academic
dishonesty includes “cheating, lying, bribery and plagiarism.” The Handbook further provides
that, a student “may receive a 0 or F on the assignment or requirement for which the violation
occurred,” or “may receive an F in the course or requirement for which the violation occurred.”
Please      refer    to    the    USCA         Student       Handbook     (available    online    at for more specific information.
        Students are advised that it not only better fulfills the purpose of registering and paying
for a class to do their own work, but it is also easier in the long run. Accepting a slightly lower
grade for not knowing an answer or submitting a poorly researched paper will spare you the
consequences of disciplinary procedures, an outright failing grade, and the work that must be
done to maintain a deception.


       Grade Scale
       Grades will be assigned according to the following scale:

                       A      100-93
                       B+     92-89
                       B      88-85
                       C+     84-80
                       C      79-76
                       D+     75-72
                       D      71-70
                       F      69-0

       Students with Disabilities
       If you have a physical, psychological, and/or learning disability which might affect your
performance in this class, please contact the Office of Disability Services, 126A B&E, (803)
641-3609, as soon as possible. The Disability Services Office will determine appropriate
accommodations based on medical documentation.

        Make-Up Assignments and Exams
        All assignments and examinations must be completed on-time. However, in rare cases
when unusual and documented circumstances prevent the timely fulfillment of your
responsibilities, individual exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. Ordinarily, even in
cases where exceptions are made, make-up work must be completed within one week.
        Even in the most extreme cases, you may not have an opportunity to make up work
if you do not notify me of your circumstances in a timely fashion. A short telephone call or
e-mail message from you or someone on your behalf within 1-2 days of an emergency will
greatly increase your chances of making up your work.

       University Student E-Mail Policy
       Electronic mail or "email" is considered an official method for communication to
students at the University of South Carolina Aiken because it delivers information in a

convenient, timely, and cost effective manner. To assure all students access to this important
form of communication, USCA provides a University email account to each enrolled student.
The primary purpose of these accounts is to ensure a standardized channel for faculty and staff to
communicate with students of the University as needed. Official university communications sent
to all students will include reminders of important dates such as deadlines to pay tuition and fees,
to withdraw from a course with grade of “W,” to apply for graduation, etc.
         Students are responsible for reading, in a timely fashion, University-related
communications sent to their official student email accounts. Students are expected to read and
respond as appropriate to their USCA official email on a frequent and consistent basis. The
University recommends checking email daily.
         USCA Computer Services will not provide support service for personal email accounts
such as AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.
         For additional information, please consult the University’s student e-mail policy at

        Junior Writing Portfolio Requirement
        Please remember that the written work that you produce in this class can be included in
your rising junior writing portfolio. For further information on the portfolio requirement please
consult your USCA Undergraduate and Graduate Studies Bulletin, or visit Dr. Lynn Rhodes,
Director of Writing Assessment, or Karl Fornes, Director of the Writing Room.

         ***Important Note***
         Please silence all pagers, cell phones, and other noisemaking devices before entering the
classroom. If you receive a call or page during class, please leave the classroom quickly and
quietly before answering. Disruptions caused by cell phones, pagers, and other noisemaking
devices may count against your participation grade.
         In the event of some unusual circumstance that requires you to receive telephone calls or
pages during class meetings, please notify me and please sit near the door to facilitate a quick
exit to the hallway.


May 26                 Faith-Based Initiatives
                       Dolan, “No Child Left Behind’s Faith-Based Initiative Provision and the
                              Establishment Clause,” 1-19
                       Olasky, “The White House Faith-Based Initiative: What’s Going Right,
                              What’s Going Wrong?” 355-366

May 31                 Establishment
                       Locke v. Davey, Zelman v. Simmons-Harris

June 1                 Paper Topic Selection Deadline
                       Establishment (cont’d)
                       Lemon v. Kurtzman, Engel v. Vitale, Everson v. Board of Education

June 2        Free Exercise
              Reynolds v. U.S., Wisconsin v. Yoder, Employment Division v. Smith

June 6        “America IS a Christian Nation”
              Novak, On Two Wings

June 7        “America IS a Christian Nation” (cont’d)
              Novak, On Two Wings

June 8        “America IS NOT a Christian Nation”
              Whitten, The Myth of Christian America

June 9        Paper Proposal Due
              “America IS NOT a Christian Nation” (cont’d)
              Whitten, The Myth of Christian America

June 13       Mid-Term Exam
              Arrange a meeting THIS WEEK with Dr. Millies to discuss your paper

June 14       Toleration & Liberalism
              Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration
              Arrange a meeting THIS WEEK with Dr. Millies to discuss your paper

June 15       The Church of England
              Burke, “Tracts on the Popery Laws”
              Heubel, “Church and State in England”
              Arrange a meeting THIS WEEK with Dr. Millies to discuss your paper

June 16       Research Day – Class will meet at USCA Library to work on papers
              Arrange a meeting THIS WEEK with Dr. Millies to discuss your paper

June 20       Islamic Political Thought and Religion
              Al-Fārābi, “The Book of Religion”

June 21       Ancient Roots
              Readings T.B.A.

June 22       What is Religion? What is Politics?
              NO READINGS

June 23       Student Presentations

June 27          Student Presentations

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