A couple of days ago I shared a synthesis of the some sixty plus answers I received to the question ‘What do you want to learn about the New Testament?’ from my students taking that course. Today, I share the responses from the students taking my ‘Religion in the United States’ class. There’s about eighteen of them (far fewer students than my four blocks of New Testament). I asked them, ‘What do you want to learn about American religion?’ Here’s the collection:
- A few were interested in the diversity of religion in this country. One specifically wanted a percentage breakdown, Pew Forum-style.
- A couple mentioned being interested in the intersection between religion and politics.
- There’s some interest in the varying definitions of ‘religion’ held by many Americans. (This is the heart of the course, in my opinion.)
- By far (and it may have been a sort of snowball, Lemming-like thing since I was asking for students to say their answers aloud) my students were interested in fringe groups or ‘cults’. (Yes, I have a class dedicated to whether there’s a real difference between a ‘cult’ and a ‘religion’.) Specifically, a few named Scientology.