Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Taught by Joseph Slaughter

This course examines the history of firearms and religion in the United States, ultimately seeking to understand the significance of gun culture within American Christianity and the powerful “God & Guns” story at the core of many Americans’ identity. Beginning with an overview of colonial and revolutionary-era views of firearms and violence, the course examines the influence of slavery, gender, and the wars of the 20th century, paying special attention to the emergence of a masculine, warrior Jesus within evangelical and fundamentalist communities during the Cold War. Students will be challenged to consider the ways in which this story helps explain one facet of popular support for Donald Trump and to reflect on how firearms are central to the identity of many conservative American Christians.