Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM8030 (AF:390429 AR:199434)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
4th Term
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The course is part of the interdisciplinary activities of the Master’s Degree Program in History from the Middle Ages to the Present, the Master’s Degree Program in European, American and Postcolonial Languages and Literatures, and it aims at the following objectives:
- to study and discuss the historical phenomena related to North American Christianity in the late modern and contemporary era in a multidisciplinary context;
- to apply the historical methodology to the analysis of modern and contemporary Christianity in North America;
- to develop learning skills that are necessary to teaching history, with particular regard to Christianity in North America.

This course has three broad goals: 1. introduce students to Christianity in North America in the late XIX, XX, and XXI centuries; 2. interrogate primary sources to understand historical facts; 3. hone students’ skills in reading, writing, and discussing.
The course aims at the following learning objectives:

- to analyze and interpret primary sources, including written texts, film, photographs, or material culture and to read secondary sources critically and effectively;
- to develop oral and literary competencies as well as research skills through independent and corporate analysis of primary and secondary sources;
- to place contemporary North American Christianity in its historical and cultural context;
- to identify significant people, places, and events in North American Christianity;
- to think critically about the relationship between contemporary Christianity and American identity;
- to carry out innovative research in the history of North American Christianity;
- to communicate and debate developments and problems of the history of Christianity in North America in the late modern and contemporary era.
General knowledge of Western Christianity and North America in late modern and contemporary era. To fill the knowledge gap students should read: The Cambridge History of Christianity. World Christianities, c. 1815-c. 1914c., vol. 8, S. Gilley and B. Stanley eds., CUP, 2006 (chapter 2, 5, 14,15, 16, 18, 19); The Cambridge History of Christianity. World Christianities,1914-c.2000, vol. 9, H. McLeod ed., CUP, 2006 or 2012 (chapter 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 15); Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty! An American History, Northon&Company, any one-volume edition (from chapter 10 onwards).
This course will explore the history of the main Christian denominations and groups in North America from the late XIX to the XXI century, with particular attention to the United States of America. Classes will be thematic. Along with a chronological analysis of the major historical events of that period, several topics where Christians played important roles in shaping North American culture and society will be investigated, such as slavery, religious revivals, civil rights movement, pacifism, abortion, etc. The class plan is similar to this:
1. Introduction + Slavery and the Christian churches
2. The Temperance Movement + Mormonism
3. Christianity and modernity: Catholic Americanism + Social Gospel + fundamentalist/liberal Protestantism + New Evangelicalism
4. The mainline Protestantism and the Civil Rights Movement
5. The Spirit of the 1960s: the Charismatic Movements + Pentecostalism
6. The Vietnam War and Christian pacifism
7. Birth control and abortion and the Christian churches + the New Christian Right
8. LGBT(QI) liberation and the Christian churches + the Catholic sex abuse crisis
9. New trends in Christianity: Vineyard Movement and Toronto Blessing + Jesus People movement
10. Ecology and the Christian churches
Christopher H. Evans, Histories of American Christianity: An Introduction, Baylor University Press, Waco, 2013 (ISBN: 9781602585454), Introduction, pp. 1-15, and from part II to the end, pp. 107-361.
A list of readings for the seminar format will be provided every week on Moodle.
Oral and written exam. The following activities will be assessed:
- Active participation in class: 1. Reading responses and 2. Presentation. 1. Students are expected to post a weekly reading response (via Moodle forum). Each response should be a critical engagement with that particular week’s source (approximately 300 words recommended). Students’ task is not to summarize the readings, but rather to explore the historical and conceptual frameworks that the source present. Then, read the posts of your classmates and comment on the posts of one or two other students in a thought-provoking or insightful way. The reading responses are due three days before class meets (Friday) and comments on the posts of your peers are due the day before class (Sunday). Students should come to class prepared to discuss their posts and responses. 2. During classes, 1 to 4 students will be assigned to do a short in-class presentation. The presentations are an extension of the reading responses. As such, rather than completing a short reading response for the week in which they are presenting, students should instead prepare a class presentation on the week’s topic (15-20 minutes), also based on the “in-depth” readings. These students will also take a leading role in the discussion following their presentation along with the professor and therefore should come prepared with a strong grasp of the week’s readings (visual/written presentations could be emailed to me by Sunday on the day before class);
- Writing activity. Possible options are: 1. Research paper (5-10 pages; 12-font size, 1,5-spaced; the topic is the student’s choice but will be worked out with and approved by the professor. It could preferably be an in-depth analysis of a primary source but a more general historical essay on a specific topic is also possible); or 2. Book analysis (5-10 pages; 12-font size, 1,5-spaced; a list of suggested books will be provided; the student’s book selection should be discussed with the professor). Students’ writing should be emailed to the professor at least one week before the exam;
- Oral exam on the handbook, class notes, and weekly readings.

The highest grade obtainable is 30/30 with honors.
Grade Breakdown:
Class participation + class presentation 30%
Writing activity 30%
Final Exam 40%
Classes feature discussions and critical thinking. In every class, the professor’s lecture will be followed by a discussion on a weekly assigned primary source, written or visual or both, using a seminar format. During lectures, the professor will provide backgrounds and suggestions with which students can interpret the sources. Active learning tools (quizzes, short videos, polls, etc.) will be used while in class. The professor will sometimes use the flipped classroom method.
Consistent attendance is an important element for comprehending course materials and developing critical thinking during discussions. If students miss 20% of classes – 80% is the required attendance percentage to be considered an attending student –, they can replace the classwork by writing an agreed number of response papers (a response paper is a response to the readings assigned for seminars*. Response papers should be 2-3 pages, 1,5-spaced).
Non-attending students should contact the professor to arrange a suitable list of readings in order to prepare for the exam.
written and oral

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Human capital, health, education" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 24/05/2022