Judith Weisenfeld joined the Princeton faculty in 2007. Her research and teaching focus on African American religious history, religion and race, and religion in modern American culture. She is the author of Hollywood Be Thy Name: African American Religion in American Film, 1929-1949 and African American Women and Christian Activism: New York’s Black YWCA, 1905-1945. Her most recent book, New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Migration, was awarded the 2017 Albert J. Raboteau Prize for the Best Book in Africana Religions. Her current research examines the intersections of psychiatry, race, and African American religion in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is also the Co-Director of The Crossroads Project: Black Religious Histories, Cultures, and Communities, which is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.
In addition to her appointment in Religion, she is affiliated with the Department of African American Studies and the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies and serves on the Executive Committees of the Program in American Studies and the Center for the Study of Religion. Professor Weisenfeld currently serves as Chair of the Department of Religion.
Courses – Spring 2022
REL 271: Cult’ Controversies in America
(HA) Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit Total Course Enrollment 70
Professor(s): Judith Weisenfeld
11:00am – 11:50am MW Lecture/Precept
Traditions Stream Requirement: Religion in America
In this course we examine a variety of new religious movements that tested the boundaries of acceptable religion at various moments in American history. We pay particular attention to government and media constructions of the religious mainstream and margin, to the politics of labels such as “cult” and “sect,” to race, gender, and sexuality within new religions, and to the role of American law in constructing categories and shaping religious expressions. We also consider what draws people to new religions and examine the distinctive beliefs, practices, and social organizations of groups labeled by outsiders as “cults.”