American Religious History

This course begins with New World encounters as North and South Americans, Europeans, and Africans made religious sense of their experiences. It proceeds through the formation of the United States, the role of race, class, gender, and sexuality in the major shifts in America’s religious cultures, the coming, fighting, resolving of the Civil War, the rise of an industrial nation, the Great Depression, the Cold War, the Civil Rights movement, the rise of the new conservatism and beyond. We will pay particular attention to the role of religion in animating American politics, society, economics, and systems of oppression and resistance. We will focus on a variety of religious traditions, including Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, indigenous faiths, spiritualism, and Judaism.


This syllabus was created for the Young Scholars in American Religion program.

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