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American Religious History

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the history of religion in the United States. They will examine the relationship of of religious life to the cultural, social, economic, and political currents of American history, and consider how the history of religion shapes the way we should understand American history as a whole. Thus, they study the development of religious practices and beliefs in relation to proprietary and corporate capitalism, faith in technological progress, an increasingly pervasive market culture, changing gender conventions, racial and ethnic pluralism, and a political democracy structured, in part, by the separation of church and state. What, they ask, is “religion” in America? How have religious communities, practices, and ideas defined the course of American life?


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

Eugene McCarraher

University of Delaware

Public College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Undergraduate Course
Class Type

Date Published


Catholic, General Comparative Traditions, Protestant
Religous Tradition

Business/Capitalism/Labor, Gender/Women/ Sexuality, Politics/Law/Government, Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars, Race/Ethnicity, Science/Technology/Environment

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