RAAC IUPUI > Search Resources > Race and Religion in America

Race and Religion in America

What does it mean to be “American?” Since their inception, America and American identities have been constituted through ever-evolving religious and racial imaginaries, conflicts, and lineages—forging ideological stances, symbols, and myths that rival traditional “religions.” Using a historical approach, this course explores the racial and religious imperatives encapsulated within concepts of “Americanness” and the racial and religious ideas that define the discursive, historical, and sociopolitical boundaries of American identities. In addition to examining how claims to American identities have altered the religiosity of historically marginalized racial “Others,” we will also consider the ways racial concepts have resembled and drawn upon religious forms in their operations in America. Finally, we will discuss how peoples’ responses to racial and religious imperatives challenge, nuance, and expand concepts of America and the American.


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

Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh

Vanderbilt University

Private College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Undergraduate Course, Graduate Course
Class Type

Date Published

Religious Studies, American Studies, History

General Comparative Traditions
Religous Tradition

Gender/Women/ Sexuality, Immigration/Refugees, Race/Ethnicity

Link to Resource