Using sermons, public addresses, legal documents, and literary texts, this seminar will explore the creation of a distinctly American civil religion by charting the historical and religious significance of the jeremiad form in American public discourse. Some of the texts we will employ to enlarge our understanding of the jeremiad form, including: the sermons of Jonathan Edwards and Increase Mather; David Walker's Appeal and Abraham Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation;" Nathaniel Hawthorne's short stories and Walt Whitman's poetry; Ida B. Well's journalistic endeavors and the speeches of Susan 8. Anthony. With its particular focus on the intersections of race, class, and gender in American life, this seminar explores both the sacred and secular significance of the jeremiad form in American religious life. 3 credits.