HDS 2526

Religion, Politics, and Public Policy in the U.S.

Richard Parker


Religion may well be the most powerful, yet seriously unexamined, force in the late 20th century. Science, plus democratic and market-based cultures, stripped religion of much of its central claims to public authority, yet left unanswered a range of questions such as: (1) As a public figure, how should you judge political and policy claims of religiously based groups or issues? (2) How should we conceive of, and organize, public life in ways that allow for tolerant religious debate? (3) If you believe in God, how can you-as a person in public life-live and act in concert with your religious beliefs? Recent debates on abortion rights, the Christian Right and "family values," and earlier debates on abolition, sufferance, and temperance have all had deeply religious dimensions. Millions of Americans have "rediscovered" religious beliefs. The course examines the extent and shape of American religious beliefs today and probes how they continue to arise in law, politics, economics, the press, public morality, and social policy.

Enrollment Limited: No
Open to BTI Students: No
Jointly offered as HKS DPI-342


0.50 credits
Fall 2013
Tue Thu 10:10am-11:30am
HKS Littauer Building Room L130

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • Religions of the Americas
  • Religion, Ethics, and Politics
MDiv Distribution Category/ies
  • Christianity
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry None
Language Course Designation(s) None