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History of Religion in America

This course is a survey of religion in America from the pre-colonial era to the present. Although this is a large class, our goal will be to explore together certain moments and themes in American religious history that have significantly shaped the development of the nation as a whole. The approach will be chronological, that is, we will move through time from the pre-colonial context to the late twentieth century; but our aim will be to connect past events to issues and problems that continue to affect the expression of religious beliefs and practices in our own culture. At times, we will employ a “case study” approach: rather than trying to cover every significant religious development and each religious group, we will analyze specific events and ideas that have a wider applicability.


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

Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp

University of North Carolina

Public College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Undergraduate Course
Class Type

Date Published

Religious Studies, American Studies, History

General Comparative Traditions
Religous Tradition

Race/Ethnicity, Nationalism/War/Civil Religion

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