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Religion in America, 1900-1941

This seminar takes a thematic and roughly chronological approach to the religious history of the United States from 1900 to 1941. It is designed to familiarize students both with the religious lives and thoughts of Americans in the first four decades of the twentieth century and with the many overlapping issues confronting American society and American religion during that time. We will focus our discussions on four themes: debates over the meaning of modernity, understandings of the relationship between religion and society, the gendering of faith, and the relationship between religion and American identity. We will read from many scholarly monographs during the course, but readings will also come from works of fiction and primary documents. Students will be evaluated based on four graded exercises: two in-class presentations, one mid-term paper, and a final research project.


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

Jonathan Ebel

University of Illinois

Public College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Undergraduate Course, Seminar
Class Type

Date Published

Religious Studies

General Comparative Traditions, Judaism, Other Christianities, Protestant
Religous Tradition

Gender/Women/ Sexuality, Popular Culture/Media/Music/Sports, Nationalism/War/Civil Religion

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