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Exploring American Religious History

This class sheds light on religion’s deep roots in American history in order to help students understand its continued significance today. The course is divided into five thematic units, each offering a different  way of understanding religion in America: 1) through the lens of the supernatural, 2) in its  entanglements with race, 3) as women’s history, 4) as entwined with American politics, and 5) in contemporary culture. Each unit begins with a session titled “What’s at stake?”, which focuses on secondary source debates over the topic more broadly. Other sessions in the unit typically pair a brief secondary source reading on the day’s specific topic with primary sources.


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

Kathryn Gin Lum

Stanford University

Private College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Undergraduate Course
Class Type

Date Published

Religious Studies, American Studies, History

General Comparative Traditions
Religous Tradition

Gender/Women/ Sexuality, Race/Ethnicity

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