This seminar will explore the relationship between religion and politics in America and more generally in liberal democracies, with an eye toward public policy. It will probe the extent to which there is indeed a separation between church and state, and the impact of religion on society. What role does, or should, religion play in the public sphere? To what extent can religion, or should religion, influence public policy making? The course will engage in both theory and praxis. We will set the stage for exploring case studies by considering what is (and has been) meant by “Christian” and what aspects of US society reflect Christian origins and values; whether those values are recognized under different descriptions; how pluralistic the Christian segment of US society has been and what avenues that suggests for an openness to a broader religious pluralism in the US; how the idea of a “Christian nation” sits alongside the separation of church and state, and the emergence of a larger population of agnostics and atheists. Case Studies include: Teaching Religion in Public Schools and the First Amendment, Birth Control Mandate, as well as case studies presented by students.