The Craft of Writing 1
R1A-003 | CCN: 24617
Discourses of Religion and the Secular
Date / Time: MWF 4pm – 5pm
What do we think about when we envision “religion”? The discourse abounds with references to its “return”: evangelicalism and megachurches are on the rise in America, and the media stokes fears of religion’s ties to fundamentalism around the globe. We intuitively label things as “religious,” speak of “religions” in the plural, assuming some commonality and essentialism between various practices, and separating them from other domains like politics, art, economics, and science. But what are the parameters of this thing called religion? And perhaps more crucially, what is the political and colonial genealogy of its emergence?
Our interdisciplinary intensive writing course will examine the construction of religion as category and concept, traversing readings from anthropology, sociology, critical theory, literature, and political theology. We will similarly examine religion’s entangled (often invisible) others: the secular, secularism, and the secularization narrative. As we conclude, we will examine a term that aims to address some of these problematics, while perhaps creating others: “the postsecular.” In addition to developing an analytic framework through which to negotiate concepts like religion, secularism, and secularization, we will cultivate the craft of college-level writing, primarily by composing (and revising) two papers and a composition dossier.