What is the “black church?” How has it developed and what role has it played in American cultural history? This course explores the history, theology, and social function of the black church in America. The first half of this course begins by examining African slave religion and the rise of black denominations. We will consider the nature and impact of black Christianity, especially as it developed among Methodist, Baptist, and Pentecostal groups. The second half of this course then turns toward the role of the black church in the Civil Rights Movement, Black Liberation Theology, and the Prosperity Gospel. This course complements a historical account of the black church with a theological analysis of black religious experience and practices. No prior knowledge of Christianity is required for this course.