This course focuses on important currents in US religious history and culture. While the approach is very loosely chronological, it is not intended as a comprehensive survey of American religions in the United States. Our goal is to explore the relationship between religion and society by considering the interaction of society’s various participants in the shaping of a shared and often deeply contested “American” culture. Beginning with the encounters between native peoples, enslaved Africans and Europeans in the 1600s, we will look at the ways in which individual believers and various groups in the “New World” have defined their religious identities and attempted to manage their relations with one another and the state during periods of colonialism, slavery, migration, industrialization, immigration, and increasing ethnic and religious pluralism.
This syllabus was created for the Young Scholars in American Religion program.
Private College or University Institution Type
Syllabus Resource Type
Intro, Undergraduate Course Class Type
2004 Date Published
Religious Studies, American Studies Discipline
Catholic, General Comparative Traditions, Other Traditions, Protestant Religous Tradition
Gender/Women/ Sexuality, Immigration/Refugees, Politics/Law/Government, Popular Culture/Media/Music/Sports, Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars, Race/Ethnicity Topics