POS-3130 Church State Separation: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution

3 credits

Prerequisite: None.

This course examines the history, theory, and application of the role of religion in forming and maintaining social values and governmental structure. The course focuses primarily on the American model of separation of church and state as the primary device that has both maintained a high sense of ethical values in public life and a high respect for divergent religious beliefs and practices. The study focuses on the growth and interrelationship among religious beliefs, ethical ideals, and governmental structure as seen in western history and political philosophy leading to the creating and later interpretation of the First Amendment to the American Constitution. Student work from both primary and secondary sources including Plato, Sophocles, Aristotle, Moses, Jesus Christ, Augustine, Mohammad, Thomas Aquinas, Emanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, John Stuart Mill, John Rawls, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Teillard de Chardin, among others. Students will examine and test theories relative to the separation of church and state.