Misunderstood: Religion and American Foreign Policy through Christian Eyes

08.30.15 | Articles

    With Dr. James C. (Jim) Wallace
    Fall 2014

    Religion has played a significant role in shaping American foreign policy from the foundation of the nation up to the present day. However, for Christians, the role of religion in American foreign affairs is frequently misunderstood. Does America’s foreign policy reflect Christian or secular values? What is the nature of America’s relationship with Israel and the Muslim world? How is America to respond to the barbaric actions of terrorist groups like ISIS? Is there a role for American morality and humanitarian intervention in global conflicts? What is the impact and role of American faith-based NGOs in foreign affairs?

    The result of a lack of understanding of the role of religion in American foreign policy is often a misapplication of the American Constitution, American law and jurisprudence, and the Holy Bible. This course will seek to shed light – historically, politically, and biblically – on this crucial crossroads of American life.

    This course is based on a course that Dr. Wallace teaches at Boston University entitled “Religion and American Foreign Policy.”

    Week 1: Foreign Affairs in the Bible: An Introduction

    Week 1 Slides

    Week 2: Colonial America: A Christian Nation?

    Week 2 Video located at www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JCtwgtQg-g
    Week 2 Handout

    Week 3: Wars and Peace Treaties: Our First Encounters with Islam and Allah

    Week 3 Slides
    Week 3 Handout

    Week 4: The Constitution: The First Amendment and the Roots of a Secular Foreign Policy

    Week 4 Slides
    Week 4 Handout

    Week 5: Manifest Destiny: Is it God’s Will that We Spread American Values?

    Week 5 Slides
    Week 5 Handout

    Week 6: God in America: The Soul of a Nation

    Week 6 Video (click on #5, "The Soul of a Nation")
    Week 6 Handout

    Week 7: Palestine: How the Great War Shaped the Current Conflict in the Middle East

    [no video]

    Week 8: Religion as a Tool of War: WWII, FDR, Hitler and Stalin

    [no video]

    Week 9: 1947-48: The Rise of Religious Nationalism and the Religious Nation-State

    [no video]

    Week 10: In God We Trust: The Early Cold War and Godless Communism

    [no video]

    Week 11: Containment: God Help Us Contain the Demons

    [no video]

    Week 12: God, Y-w-h, Allah: The God of Abraham and the Impact of 9-11

    [no video]