Modernity in America
This course ponders how best to interpret modernity in America, in light of the assumption that there exists an organic link between modernization and secularization. Does America offer an “exception” to this assumption? What is one to make of the difference between the French and the American Enlightenments? The course will address these questions in terms of the root meaning of religion, or ontology of creatureliness, affirmed in Christianity. The purpose of the course is to show that an adequate idea of creatureliness is the necessary condition for answering the questions. Readings in the course will be drawn from representative moderns–European and American, as well as twentieth century and more contemporary authors.