Course examines faith in modern America

Grant Nelson, Staff Writer

Have you ever been curious about how religion works in the modern-day United States, or what direction organized religion, as a whole, is moving, or how religion in a liberal consumer base impacts our lives?

Madison Area Technical College professor Mathew Sargent is offering a course called “Sociology of Religion” that looks at the modern-day comings and goings of faith in America, how it functions and the interests that human beings have for the supernatural.

In this course, Sargent, who has taught this class before, takes a comparative lens on the relationship between religion and history.

Throughout the semester, he discusses topics such as the religious marketplace in America, the evolution of human empowerment and how age-old questions of human nature change.

Sargent does this to address changing religious landscapes and the ever-changing appreciation of the biggest questions that humans have been asking since the beginning of time.

“Both as a sociologist and a Christian, I would argue that all trends interact with religion,” Sargent said.

In addition, Sargent discusses the role of media in framing religion in America.

Popular media and views generally have difficulty diving into the complexity of the truth that influences and drives people, groups and society to act.

Instead, such views are often generated to sell ideas and objects or to reaffirm identities we might embrace.

For example, there are current trends in our society that view different religions as being sources of violence and terrorism. this, and this should be obvious is an incorrect view.