CoursesOrthodox America
RELS 3100 - 402 / RELS 6100 - 402

Orthodox America

This course surveys the rich history of Orthodox Christian communities in North America from the early 19th century to the present day. Orthodox Christians from the Middle East, eastern Europe, Russia, Ethiopia, India, and elsewhere have immigrated to America for more than two hundred years, and contributed to the American religious, political, legal, literary, and material landscapes. Their stories are, however, rarely incorporated into the often Protestant-centric grand narratives of the history of religion in America. Through the lenses of post-colonial, immigration and diaspora, gender, media, and religious studies, this course surveys the literature, art, material culture, and religious practice of various Orthodox Christian communities, highlighting the multifaceted ways Orthodox Christianity shaped America.

Tuesday, 1:45 PM – 4:44 PM

The class will consist of robust study of primary sources, scholarly works with theoretical, historical, and ethnographic approach, and analyses of representations of Orthodox Christians in social media and popular culture. Guest speakers, such as academics, artists, and community leaders as well as visits to museums and churches and an exploration of the archives at the Kislak Center and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania included.

The course is designed to address the history of racial, religious, and linguistic difference and diversity in America through rigorous discussion and dialogue in the classroom. The course material analyzes examples of dialogue from the 19th to the 21st-century America. The course aims to provide students with opportunities to interact with Orthodox Christians from the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa, and elsewhere, historical and contemporary.

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