As part of a course considering American Democracy in Theory and Practice, we took 36 students to Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. During that visit, students observed a community that seeks self-sufficiency and yet proves to be simultaneously responsive to and reflective of American democracy more broadly. Specifically, in a few short hours, they were able to see the virtues of civic association, the difficulty of respecting individualism in large-scale polities, the influence of regional identity, and the two-way interaction between politics and cultureall themes that featured prominently in our course. We offer this reflection to suggest the pedagogical benefits of showing the tensions of American politics in action and to encourage colleagues to consider integrating similar ventures into their own courses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science