Religion 371 W: Research and Writing in Religious Studies

Samford University, Department of Religion, Spring 2005

Tuesday & Thursday, 8 to 9:50pm, 320 Chapman Hall


David R. Bains, Assistant Professor
  325 Chapman Hall, phone: 726-2879, email:
Office Hours:  Mon & Wed 1-3pm.  I'll be happy to make an appointment for a different time, just let me know.


Course Description:

Students develop analytical, research, and writing skills in religious studies   In a small-seminar format, students will engage in reading and analysis of both primary and secondary materials.  They will also engage in a directed research paper.  The focus of the course in fall 2004 will be fundamentalist and modernist movements in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century America.


Goals:  Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

·        Identify and explain various disciplines within religious studies.

·        Interpret primary sources using a variety of disciplines.

·        Evaluate research in religious studies from a variety of critical perspectives.

·        Generate and complete a research design on a topic of interest in religious studies.

·        Present the results of their research with clarity and grace in both written and oral form.

·        Discuss the development of Fundamentalism and Liberalism in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America.

Required Texts:

Booth, Wayne C., Joseph W. Williams, and Gregory C. Colomb. The Craft of Research. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

DeBerg, Betty A. Ungodly Women: Gender and the First Wave of American Fundamentalism. New ed. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2000.

Weber, Timothy P. On the Road to Armageddon: How Evangelicals Became Israel's Best Friend. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2004.

Marsden, George M. Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1991.

Reading packet

Recommended Texts:

Hacker, Diane. A Writer's Reference. 5th ed. Boston: Bedford Books, 2002.  This book is commonly used in UCCA 101 & 102.  I may refer you to it.

Marsden, George M. Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism: 1870-1925. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.  On reserve in the library.  The major book on Fundamentalism and conservative Protestantism in this period.

Hutchison, William R. The Modernist Impulse in American Protestantism. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1992.  First published 1976 by Harvard University Press.  The major work on liberal Protestantism in this period.


Themes in Seminar:

               This semester we will examine the culture and thought of American Protestantism in the decades surrounding the turn of the last century.  Our earliest sources will be from the 1870s; most of our attention will be focused on the period 1890-1925, some of the sources will lead us up to the First World War (1939-1945).  We will also examine controversies among Southern Baptists in the 1970s and 1980s as a coda to this story.

               The central event that we will examine is development of Protestant liberalism, the emergence of Fundamentalism, and the resulting controversy between Fundamentalists and Modernists.  We will also examine other aspects of Protestant life that are sometimes ignored in the focus on the conflict between these two parties, including the role of the market, the home, and church architecture.

Major themes and issues we will address include:

  • The relationship between "religion," "theology," and scientific knowledge, including the religious responses to Darwinism and the relationship of "theology" to "religious studies."
  • The relationship between Protestants and the growth in urbanization, industrialization, and commercialization in this period.
  • Differing and changing views of eschatology: including premillennialism and the collapse of postmillennialism.
  • Theological conceptions of the nature and authority of the Bible.
  • Denominational controversies and schism.
  • Conceptions of gender and the role of women.


Academic Integrity:

Students are expected to observe high standards of intellectual integrity. Read the "Ethics of Research" in The Craft of Research, pp. 285-288.  Also see the relevant section of the Student Handbook and the University Catalog.  Study groups are encouraged, but all work submitted in this class must be your own.  Suspected lapses in academic integrity will be investigated and adjudicated in accordance with the University's values policy.

For information on the format of papers and citations see my handout "Guidelines for Essays in Religion."


Attendance and Grading / Department of Religion:

Roll will be taken each day.  In a TR class a student may miss four classes without penalty.  After the fifth absence your final grade will be reduced one letter grade.  After the seventh absence the student will receive an FA for the course.  Three tardies count as one absence.  If you come in after your name is called, you will need to notify your professor at the end of the class period, or else the tardy will become an absence.  The Department of Religion grading scale is:

A= 100%-95%, A- = 94%-92%

B+ = 91%-88%, B = 87% - 85%, B- = 84%-82%

C+ = 81% - 78%, C = 77%-74%, C- = 73% - 70%

D+ = 69% - 66%, D = 65% - 63%, D- = 62% -60%;   F = 59% and below


Papers that are turned in after the set due date will be penalized one full letter grade for each week that they are late during the first half of term.  No credit will be given to late assignments leading up to the final paper (those from Oct. 21 on).  Ordinarily, I do not accept email submission of papers.  It is your responsibility to submit a paper copy.


All students with disabilities seeking reasonable accommodation must register with Disability Support Services #726-4078 or #726-2105.  Thereafter, you are invited to schedule appointments with the instructor to discuss reasonable accommodation requests verified by Disability Support Services.


Course Requirements:

Class Participation (15%)  Much of our class will focus on discussion of the assigned readings.  All students must come to class prepared and actively engage in the class.  Your grade will be determined according to the following general guideline: Unattentiveness in class = 0, Good attendance and attentiveness = C, Strong attendance and active participation in class discussions (showing interest in topic or issues and familiarity with assigned materials) = B; Strong attendance, active participation in class discussions (showing interest in topic or issues and familiarity with assigned materials), and demonstrable leadership (somehow making a positive difference in the class dynamic) = A.

Mid-term examination (20%)  On the readings and class discussions from the first half of the term.

Other short assignments and essays (mainly in the in first half of term) (15%)  This includes serving as discussion leader (probably twice), short essays, bibliography, and other exercises.  See the course outline below.

Research project (various stages) (50%)  Students will complete a closely-supervised research paper on a topic of their choice related to the topics of the course chosen in consultation with the instructor.  The final paper will be a scholarly paper of 12-15 pages, utilizing primary and secondary sources to present original research.


Detailed instructions on the research paper will be provided throughout the term.  Here is a synopsis of the minimal requirements:

Sources:  The nature and scope of sources used will vary widely according to your topic.

Primary sources: You must identify and use primary sources outside those assigned for the course.  You may however, choose to focus on documents discussed in the course as central sources.

Secondary sources:  You must identify and use at least 10 secondary sources.  You must substantially engage with the arguments of some of your sources (for example, by critiquing them, nuancing them, or testing them on new data).

You must follow the stages outlined in the class. 


The grade for the research project will be based on the following:

Preliminary topic and Bibliography & Research Problem (5%)

Annotated Bibliography (5%)

Outline (5%)

First Draft (10%)

Complete Draft (10%) (Nov. 29-Dec. 8 as assigned)

Participation in peer-review of drafts (5%) (Nov. 30-Dec. 9 as assigned)

Final paper & Electronic Portfolio on CD (60%)


Course Outline (Subject to Revision):

1.      January 27: Introduction to Religious Studies

What is religion? or By majoring in religion, what do you expect to study?
How do you study religion?  a.) How do you gain information?  b.) How do you process this information into knowledge?

How do you get at the "truth"?

2.      Feb. 1: Introduction to Religious Studies (con't) / Using and Citing Sources

Reading: James C. Livingston, Anatomy of the Sacred: An Introduction to Religion, 4th ed. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2001), 1-50.
"Using Sources" chapter 6 of Craft, 90-107
Assignment  Bring two copies to class.  One to hand in at the beginning, one to refer to in class.  1.) Drawing on p. 107of Craft a.) state what the problem/question and the solution/main claim is for each chapter of Livingston, b) list some of the key sub-claims for each chapter.  2.) In a two- to three-page essay respond to the following questions.  a.)  Since your junior year in high school, in what courses have you have studied religion?  Be sure to include courses that may not have focused on religion exclusively, but in which you feel you studied religion. b.)  Using the categories of approaches outlined in Chapter 2 of Livingston describe the approach to the study of religion in these courses.

3.      Feb. 3: Historical Background

Reading: Marsden, Understanding, 1-61 (Historical Overview 1870-1930)
Marvin Yeomans Whiting, "The Beginning," chapter 1 of The bearing day is not gone : the seventy-fifth anniversary history of Independent Presbyterian Church of Birmingham, Alabama, 1915-1990 (Birmingham, Ala.: Independent Presbyterian Church, 1990), 13-23.
Timothy P. Weber, “Evangelicalism North and South,” Review and Expositor 92 (1995): 299-317.
Assignment: Quiz & TBA
Recommended Reading:
Hutchison, Modernist Impulse, xi-xiv, 1-24, [24-40], 41-75 (Introduction, Unitarian Movement, Evangelical Groundwork).

4.      Feb. 8: Baconian Science and Old School Presbyterian Theology

Reading:  Hodge, Chapter 1, On Method, Systematic Theology, 1-22;
Marsden, Understanding, "The Evangelical Love Affair with Enlightenment Science" 122-152; ["Why Creation Science," 153-181]
Theodore T. Munger, "The New Theology" (1882) reprinted in Frank X. Ryan, ed. Darwinism and Theology in America: 1850-1930  Bristol, U.K.: Thoemmes, 2002) 3:145-152.
Craft of Research, 1-33

Assignment: 1.) Complete the "Understanding Your Reader" checklist, 32-33 for one of the sources you have read thus far.
2.) Short Essay: Both Munger and Hodge refer to theology as a "science" and to the Bible as a principle source.  How does their conception of the method theology and the Bible's role in it compare?
Your essay must address the above question, but there are several ways you can approach it.  Some possible ones are: (a) discuss how Munger fits into (or falls between) the three theological methods Hodge describes (speculative, mystical, and inductive); (b) use their statements about the nature of natural science and theology's relation to it as a starting point, drawing on Marsden for historical context (bear in mind that Hodge was fairly old when he published in 1871 and Munger still middle aged when he wrote in 1882); (c) use a common issue that they both discuss as a starting point (e.g., the atonement)

5.      Feb. 10:  Developing Liberalism

Reading:  A. A. Hodge and B. B. Warfield, "Inspiration," The Presbyterian Review (April 1881): 225-260

Charles Briggs, "Barriers to the Scriptures" (1891) reprinted in H. Shelton Smith, Robert T. Handy, and Lefferts A. Loetscher, eds. American Christianity : An Historical Interpretation with Representative Documents (New York: Scribner's, 1960) 2:275-279

Charles Briggs, "Orthodoxy" (1889) reprinted in William R. Hutchison, ed. American Protestant Thought in the Liberal Era. (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1968), 28-36.

Max Gray Rogers, “Charles Augustus Briggs,” in Dictionary of Heresy Trials in American Christianity, ed. George H. Shriver (Westport , Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1997), 48-59. (handout)

"Making Good Arguments," chapter 7 of Craft, 109-126

Assignment:  Use the Hodge and Warfield article and identify at least two claims with their supporting reason(s), evidence(s), warrent(s), and acknowledgements and response.
Recommended Reading:  Hutchison, Chapter 3, 76-110

6.      Feb. 15: Evangelical Liberalism's self presentation & missionary thought

Reading: Clarke, William Newton. Contents and Introduction in An Outline of Christian Theology. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1898.  Pp. v-ix (contents), 1-62 (definition, method, and scripture), [more on atonement?]

Brown, William Adams. "Christianity as a Distinctive Religion" and "The Finality of Christianity" in Christian Theology in Outline. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1906. Pp. 37-41

George A. Gordon, "The Gospel for Humanity," (1895) in reprinted in William R. Hutchison, ed. American Protestant Thought in the Liberal Era. (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1968), 98-107.

Assignment: In an essay of 500-600, words explain what you see to be the central differences between the liberals (Briggs, Clarke) and the Princetonians (C. Hodge, A.A. Hodge, B.B. Warfield) on the nature of the Bible and its role in theology.  Be sure to support your claim with reference to the readings.
Recommended:  Hutchison, Chapter 4, 111-144


7.      Feb. 17: Eschatology: Pre- and Post- Millennialism

Reading: Weber, 1-66; Moorhead, James H. "The Erosion of Postmillennialism in American Religious Thought, 1865-1925." Church History 53 (March 1984): 61-77. (handout)

Assignment:  TBA

8.      Feb. 22: Social Thought

Reading: Walter Rauschenbusch, "The Kingdom of God" in Robert T. Handy, ed. The Social Gospel in America, 1870-1920: Gladden--Ely--Rauschenbusch, A Library of Protestant Thought (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966), 264-267
Walter Rauschenbusch, Christianity and the Social Crisis (New York: Macmillan, 1907), xi- 92.  Because I have just recently decided to include chapter 1 of this book, the readings are found in two packets from two sources.  The introduction and chapter 2 are in the packet reprinted from Sydney E. Ahlstrom, ed., Theology in America: The Major Protestant Voices from Puritanism to Neo-Orthodoxy (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1967).  Chapter 1 is in the handout directly from the 1913 printing of the book.  In chapter 1, pay special attention to pp. 1-22 where lays out the basic characteristics of the prophetic message and pp. 27-36 where he discusses the deficiencies of the message of some of the later prophets.

A Theology for the Social Gospel (New York: Macmillan, 1917), 69-76, reprinted in Sydney E. Ahlstrom, ed., Theology in America: The Major Protestant Voices from Puritanism to Neo-Orthodoxy (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1967).

Lyman P. Powell, "Real Coöperation of the Churches: The Interchurch World Movement" reprinted in Carpenter, ed. The Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy

I. M. Haldeman, Why I am Opposed to the Interchurch World Movement reprinted in Carpenter, ed. The Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy

Recommended: "'The Great Reversal'" chapter 10 of Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture, 85-101; Hutchison, chapters 5 &6, esp. 164-206.

Assignment:  TBA

For Further Reading:  The most recent biography of Rauschenbusch is Christopher Hodge Evans, The Kingdom Is Always but Coming: A Life of Walter Rauschenbusch (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2004).

9.      Feb. 24: Devotion and Practice

Reading: Ostrander, Richard. "The Battery and the Windmill. Two Models of Protestant Devotionalism in Early-Twentieth-Century America." Church History 65 (March 1996): 42-61. 

Hamilton, Michael S., and Margaret Lamberts Bendroth. "Keeping the 'Fun' in Fundamentalism: The Winona Lake Bible Conferences, 1895-1968." In Re-Forming the Center : American Protestantism, 1900 to the Present, edited by Douglas G. Jacobsen and William Vance Trollinger, Jr., 300-17. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1998.

Savage, Sara. "A Psychology of Fundamentalism: The Search for Inner Failings." In Fundamentalism, Church and Society, edited by Martyn Percy and Ian Jones, 25-52. London: SPCK, 2002

Assignment:  TBA

10.   March 1: The Impact of World War I

Reading: Weber, 67-153 & TBA

11.   March 3:  No class
Assignment:  TBA


12.   March 8. :Fundamentalist and Modernist Battles

Reading: Mathews, Will Christ Come Again reprinted in Carpenter

Torrey, "Will Christ come Again?: An Exposure of the Foolishness, Falacies and Falsehoods of Shailer Mathews

Fosdick, Shall the Fundamentalists Win?

Gray, "The Deadline of Doctrine Around the Church"

Recommended: Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture, 141-195.

Assignment:  TBA

13.   March 10: Fundamentalists after 1925

Reading: Hart, D. G. "J. Gresham Machen, Confessional Presbyterianism, and the History of Twentieth-Century Protestantism." In Re-Forming the Center : American Protestantism, 1900 to the Present, edited by Douglas G. Jacobsen and William Vance Trollinger, Jr., 129-49. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1998.

Marden, Understanding, 182-201.

Stanley, Susie C. "Wesleyan/Holiness Churches: Innocent Bystanders in the Fundamentalist/Modernist Controversy." In Re-Forming the Center : American Protestantism, 1900 to the Present, edited by Douglas G. Jacobsen and William Vance Trollinger, Jr., 172-93. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1998.

Assignment:  TBA

14.   March 15: Fundamentalism and Gender

Reading: Deberg, vii-xvii, 1-74

Clifford Putney, Muscular Christianity: Manhood and Sports in Protestant America, 1880-1920 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001). 99-143

Assignment:  TBA

15.   March 17: Fundamentalism and gender 2

Reading: DeBerg, 76-153

Discussion of possible topics for research

Assignment:  TBA


Spring Break / Holy Week

16.   March 29: Religion and the Market

Reading: Schmidt, Leigh Eric. Introduction and "Christmas Bazaar" in Consumer Rites: The Buying and Selling of American Holidays. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995.  Pp. 3-16, 106-191, 311-314, 328-341.
"From Topics to Questions" chapter 3 of Craft, [3-16], 40-55.

Assignment:  TBA

17.   March 31: Architecture and Theology

Reading: Kilde, Jeanne Halgern. When Church Became Theatre: The Transformation of Evangelical Architecture and Worship in Nineteenth-Century America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.  Ideally chapters 4 on (pp. 84-220, but probably just chapter 5-6 112-169).


Craft, 56-89

Assignment: Preliminary Topics due

18.   April 5   Fundamentalist Controversy II:  The Southern Baptist Convention
Reading:  Hadaway, C. Kirk, and Penny Long Marler. "The Politics of Elite Disunity in the Southern Baptist Convention, 1946-1992." Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion 6 (1994): 53-102.

Assignment:  TBA

19.   April 7  MID TERM

20.   April 12

Assignment: Research Problem & Working BibliographyDue see page 66
Reading: Weber, 155-186 or TBA from your sources
Workshop: Refining problems, examining your sources

21.   April 14

Reading: Craft, 127-150; Weber, 155-186 or TBA from your sources
Workshop: your sources

22.   April 19:

Assignment: Bibliography & Bibliographic Essay Due
Reading: Craft, 151-182; Weber, 187-212 or TBA from your sources
Workshop: your sources

23.   April 21: Workshop: Working toward outlines

Reading: Craft, 183-207; review Craft 109-182, Weber 213-268


24.   April 26 Workshop: Working toward drafts

Assignment: Outline & Partial Drafts Due

Reading: TBA


25.   April 28: Workshop: Working toward draft

Assignment and Reading: TBA

26.   May 3: Workshop: Revising drafts
Assignment: First Draft Due

27.   May 5: Student presentations and discussion of drafts

Reading:  Drafts of 3-4 students' papers in your email inbox by 12 noon on Dec. 6.
Assignment: Comments on papers (as assigned)

28.   May 10: Student presentations and discussion of drafts

Reading:  Drafts of 3-4 students' papers in your email inbox by 12 noon on Dec. 8.
Assignment: Comments on papers (as assigned)


Final Paper due:  Tuesday, May 17, 5pm


Policy on Edited Standard Written English


Suppose a group of people were living on an island, all using the same language, until one day the island broke in two, separated by impassable water.  In one hundred years, with no contact, would the people on both halves still use the same language forms?  No.  Human language is always changing.  Language on each half of the island would evolve with different forms and rules.  Neither would be better in any absolute sense just different. Similarly, in the United States, language variations have developed among people separated by culture, socioeconomic status, or geography.  However, the language of the ruling class commonly comes to be regarded as standard.  In the United States, the "standard" is the language of the white middle and upper classes.  Forms of English developed by people of color and by people who have been poor or geographically isolated (as in Appalachia) are sometimes said to be "bad" or "incorrect" English, but such forms are only different, not bad. Each form of English has its own rules.  People who say "she working" are not speaking "bad" English; they are using a different set of rules for forming the present tense.  One of the tasks of a good education is to make students aware of these facts about language.  Another task of education, however, is to prepare students to function effectively in the world where readers generally expect writers to use Edited Standard Written English (ESWE).  Thus, in this class, you must use ESWE.


On finished, formal papers (not on drafts, in-class writings, or writing specifically labeled as informal), you must have no more than an average of two departures from ESWE per page, in any combination of the following areas:


End-of-sentence punctuation (avoid run-on sentences, comma splices, fragments, or misuse of semicolon). Occasionally you may use a fragment or comma splice for a special effect.  Label it in the margin.


Verb forms (use ESWE rules for adding -ed and -s, for using helping verbs, and so on).


               Verb tense (avoid confusing shifts in verb tenses).


               Agreement of subject and verb.


               Pronoun form (use ESWE rules to choose between I and me, she and her, who and whom, and so on).


               Agreement of pronoun with antecedent (the antecedent is the word the pronoun refers to).


               Use of apostrophe s and the suffix -es.


               Use of quotation marks for all quoted words.


               Spelling (a typo counts as a misspelling).


               Proper sentence sense (no words omitted, scrambled, or incomprehensible).


Note that the policy applies only to finished, final, formal writing, not to drafts, in-class writing, or writing that is specifically labeled as informal. [Adopted from Barbara A. Walvoord and Virginia Johnson Anderson, Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998).]