ConsultingEntrepreneurship & Start-upsMarketing & Communications

HIST 143F – Jesus Chicken: Business and Religion in America (FYS)

Summary: Although many Americans are aware of the religious identity of the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A (earning it the moniker of “Jesus Chicken” in some communities), there is nothing new about businesses that project a religious ethos. This First Year Seminar explores the blurry boundary between business and religion in America, examining the ways in which businesses use religion and the ways in which religious entities often function as businesses. Although this course primarily focuses on the Christian tradition, it will also examine the ways in which other religious communities (such as Jewish and Buddhist) approach the marketplace. Chronologically, the course spans the 17th to 21st centuries, paying special attention to the emergence of the market economy in the U. S. from 1800-1850 and the growth of consumer culture in the second half of the 20th century. This course will provide students with an introduction to historical methods and the critical study of religion, while focusing on developing collegiate-level reading, writing, and critical thinking skills that will form a foundation for any major at Wesleyan.

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