Is poverty cultural? Are people poor because of where they live? Does God ordain poverty? This course explores the prevailing explanations for why poverty exists today. Drawing on religious and cultural references, news media, and other sources, we will examine the deeply entrenched ideologies that keep society at large from recognizing the breadth and depth of poverty and, therefore, prevent us from seeking long-term and real solutions that can end poverty. The first session will introduce the framework, emphasizing cultural expressions. The second session will explore these ideologies within religion.