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Art, Religion, and Material Culture in America

“Art, Religion & Material Culture” introduces students to the diverse array of religious traditions that have flourished in America over the past four centuries through a focused examination of things: the “stuff” of religious life embodied in art, commercial and “folk” objects, buildings,and landscapes. We will learn to read the “visual culture” of American religion like a text,discovering along the way that a collection of neopagan ritual objects arranged carefully on a bedroom dresser can communicate as much information about the beliefs and practices of its owner as an introspective diary or letter.


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

Douglas L. Winiarski

University of Richmond

Private College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Undergraduate Course
Class Type

Date Published

Religious Studies, The Arts

Catholic, General Comparative Traditions, Indigenous, New Religious Movements, Other Traditions, Protestant
Religous Tradition

He​alth/Death, Popular Culture/Media/Music/Sports, Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars, Nationalism/War/Civil Religion

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