Course Description

IN PERSON: A few years ago, The Economist magazine opined that religion, even more than race relations, makes the South an exceptional section of the U.S. Indeed, this "Bible Belt" — site of the Scopes evolution trial, home base for such prominent evangelicals as Joel Osteen, Jerry Falwell and Billy Graham — is a prayerful place: Writer Flannery O'Connor described it as "Christ haunted,” and scholar Dennis Owen has written, “Southern Protestantism and Southern culture are as inseparable as bourbon and fruitcake.” But it wasn’t always so. Through lectures, with questions encouraged, the course looks at, in particular, the white variety of Southern faith from its almost agnostic beginnings through evangelicalism’s awakening, accommodation with secular values and sectional schisms on up to present-day “values voters." Along the way, we'll consider some exceptions to the evangelical rule and such counterconventional manifestations as speaking in tongues, faith healing and, yes, handling snakes. | Lecture + Q&A.

Max enrollment: 12.

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Section Title
The Evangelical South: Eccentric, Exceptional and How It Got That Way
Classroom - In Person
9:00AM to 10:30AM
Apr 26, 2022 to May 24, 2022
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Classroom - In Person  
Course Fees
Section Notes

Please note: Books are recommended as supplements for anyone who would like to pursue topics covered in class in greater depth and detail.

Recommended reading:
Christine Leigh Heyrman, Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt (9780807847169)
Randall J. Stephens, The Fire Spreads: Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South (9780674026728)
Charles Reagan Wilson and Mark Silk (eds.), Religion and Public Life in the South: In the Evangelical Mode (9780759106352)