*Abbreviations under the "Available" column: A = Available // NA = Not Available // R = Previously Registered // WL = Currently on the Wait List

From Consensus to Confrontation: Religion, Politics, and American Culture 1950-Present

This course will explore dramatic changes in the American religious and political landscape during the past six decades, from the comfortable consensus of the Eisenhower era to the contentious climate of the present. During the 1960s and 70s American “civil religion” was challenged by protest and liberation movements. Conservative religion actively entered the political arena with the rise of the Moral Majority and the election of 1980. Since then the Culture Wars and perceived external threats have amplified the conflict between conservative and progressive worldviews in both religion and politics. How long will this polarization continue? Is there any hope for a new American common ground?  Note: This course does not meet on Friday, November 23.

Instructor Bio:

Ed Piper has served as a course instructor for OLLI and for the Lifelong Learning Institute at James Madison University. He earned a PhD in psychology and religion and has served as the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Waynesboro from 1997 until his retirement in 2013. Prior to that he was dean of academic services at Mary Washington College for 8 years and professor of psychology at West Virginia Wesleyan College for 16 years.

Recommended Reading:

Woodward, Kenneth. Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Ascent of Trump, 2016. Haight, Jonathan. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, 2012. Taylor, Paul. The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown, 2016.

Course Number Instructor Dates Day Time Location Available
B607 Ed Piper Nov 2, 9, 16, 30, Dec 7 Fr 10:00-11:30 a.m. The R. R. Smith Center WL

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