Antebellum American Religion and Reform in an International Context: A Church State Establishment by Another Name?
Date: Tuesday January 10, 2012, 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Location: Reading Memorial High School, Distance Learning Lab Room 413

This session will look at the connections between religion and reform in the decades prior to the Civil War. In considering global context and exchange in American religious developments, we will examine how movements for social reform encouraged men and women from across the globe to turn their faith into political action. The latter part of the session will feature work with the DBQ Project, an organization committed to the use of rigorous writing and thinking activities with students of all skill levels. In two concurrent sessions we will model work with “How free were free blacks in the North?,” a DBQ with international connections. In an introduction to the DBQ process, some participants will go through all the steps of teaching a DBQ by doing one as a group, while teachers already familiar with the DBQ model will concentrate on ideas for sustainability of the DBQ project across their departments while also working with strategies to create original DBQs for the classroom.

Session Resources

Follow-Up Post Instructions:

Session Information Email Reminder:

Advanced Reading Assignment:
Please complete the attached advanced readings prior to our session on January 10th. The advanced readings are as follows:

Sehat, David. “The Moral Establishment.” In The Myth of American Religious
Freedom. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. p. 51 – 69.
(Attached in an email sent December 22nd.)

Schaff, Philip. “Religion and the Church.” In America: A Sketch of the
Political, Social, and Religious Character of the United States of America
in Two Lectures. New York: C. Scribner, 1855. p. 86 – 99.

Some guiding questions for these readings include:
  • How are religion and reform linked in early – mid 19th century America?
  • How does the history of religion in America connect (or not) with the idea of American exceptionalism?
  • According to Schaff and Sehat what is the history of United States religious tolerance, religious freedom, and the separation of church and state?
  • How does Antebellum American religion and reform compare and contrast with world/Western history?

Session Schedule:

8:00 - 8:15
Arrival, Breakfast, and Check In
8:15 - 8:30
Introductions and Standards Connections
Kara Gleason, Project Director
8:30 - 11:00
with break
Antebellum American Religion and Reform in an International Context: A Church State Establishment by Another Name?
Chris Beneke, Bentley University
11:00 – 11:45
Introduction/Reintroduction to the DBQ Project
Mollie Hackett & Chip Brady, The DBQ Project
11:45 – 12:25
Lunch (on your own): RMHS Cafeteria, Brown Bag, or Local Take-Out
12:30 - 2:15
The DBQ Project: How Free Were Free Blacks in the North?
Mollie Hackett & Chip Brady, The DBQ Project
2:15 – 2:30
Classroom Connections Discussion & Closing

History Connected Y3 Seminar 4: A Church-State Establishment by Another Name? Religion and Religious Refor...