Among western industrialized nations, the United States is unique both in the rate of religious belief and in the diversity of religious expression. Many early European colonists came to North America in order to freely practice their strongly held religious beliefs, and the right to free exercise of religion is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution. This course will explore the multiplicity of religious groups that compete in the modern religious marketplace. It will consider, first, the variety of faiths that constitute the religious consensus, and second, the even greater diversity of faiths that are found outside the consensus. It will consider such issues as: the effect of church/state separation, the difference between institutional and popular religion, the distinctive beliefs and practices of religious groups, and the historical development of the major religious traditions in America.
This syllabus was created for the Young Scholars in American Religion program.
Wright State UniversityInstitution
Public College or University Institution Type
Syllabus Resource Type
Intro, Undergraduate Course Class Type
1999 Date Published
Religious Studies Discipline
Catholic, General Comparative Traditions, Indigenous, Islam, Judaism, New Religious Movements, Protestant Religous Tradition
Gender/Women/ Sexuality, Politics/Law/Government, Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars, Race/Ethnicity Topics