2019-2020 Catalog

RELS 230 Religion and Law

In United States history, law has regularly been used to subordinate racial and religious minorities, while law has also been used as a tool in these groups' struggles for liberation.  This course approaches law as a feature of culture, as both a product of cultural (including religious) context and a mechanism to effect cultural change.  Students will study cases where religious freedom arguments served to oppress the Queer community, the Disabled community, and Women, as well as cases of struggles for religious liberty among Indigenous, Black, and Mixed communities in the US.  By analyzing legal discourse from the lenses of Postcolonial, Feminist, and Critical Race Studies, students will come to understand that law is not neutral or objective and students will better discern how both religion and law operate at multiple, overlapping levels in society, contesting and constructing meaning.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • United States Diversity