The Simple Life in America
The pursuit of the simple life is rarely simple. Nevertheless, it has been a longstanding impulse in American culture. This course will explore the history and sociology of the American quest for the simple life, paying particular attention to the religious and spiritual contexts and dimensions of this pursuit. In the first half of the course, our approach will be historical, examining the emphasis on simplicity from Puritan beginnings to Progressive Era reformers. The second half of the course will examine more recent efforts, including those thinkers whose emphasis on simplicity includes religious, environmentalist and anti-consumerist visions of social change. (formerly RELI/AMCV 0274) 3 hrs. lect.