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American Religious Communities

Religious life in the United States has been marked by an ongoing tension: the power sought, and sometimes obtained, by majority religious groups and the religious pluralism that marks the population and is protected by law. In this class, we will explore this tension through a historically organized survey of majority and minority religious communities. We begin with the continent’s original pluralism in its hundreds of Native American religious traditions. We then move to powerful varieties of Protestant Christianity as they interacted with smaller groups, including colonial-era Jews, upstart Mormons, African-American Christians, newly immigrated Catholics, and more recently arrived immigrants who practice Hinduism and Islam.


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

Jennifer Graber

College of Wooster

Private College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Undergraduate Course
Class Type

Date Published

Religious Studies

Catholic, General Comparative Traditions, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Other Christianities, Protestant
Religous Tradition

Class/Power, Immigration/Refugees, Popular Culture/Media/Music/Sports, Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars, Race/Ethnicity, Nationalism/War/Civil Religion

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