HDS 3262

Beyond Peasants and Proletarians: Black Religions and the Social Sciences in the 20th Century

Jonathan L. Walton


This course will introduce students to the leading "schools" of social scientific thought throughout the first half of the twentieth century in regards to religion, race and ethnicity. Major topics to be addressed include anthropological and sociological approaches that led to Africanisms, cultural relativism and particularism on the one hand, versus universalism, acculturation, and assimilation on the other. Beyond evaluating the works of leading proponents of aforementioned approaches, students will also engage social context, political motivations, and economic influences that animated the early growth of the social sciences in general, and work on religion and race more specifically. Readings will include Nathaniel Shaler, W.E.B. Du Bois, Franz Boas, Zora Neale Hurston, Newbell Niles Puckett, Robert Park, Hortense Powdermaker, Benjamin Elijah Mays et.al

Enrollment Limited: Limited to 20 students. Instructor's permission required.
Open to BTI Students: Yes
Jointly offered as Religion 1910


0.50 credits
Fall 2013
Tues 2pm-4pm
FAS Barker Center Room 024 (McFadden)

Relationship to Program Requirements

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