America has often been paradoxically defined as simultaneously the “most religious” and “least religious” of nations. This course, an historical survey of American religious life, will trace the unique story of American religion from colonial contact with native cultures to the present. Along the way, we will examine Puritan life and thought, the emergence of evangelicalism, liberal and radical challenges to the Protestant mainstream, the impact of Jewish and Catholic immigration, African-American religious experience, the importance of women’s history and the ongoing challenges of religious diversity. Readings include sermons, essays, diaries and fiction, as well as secondary source material.
This syllabus was created for the Young Scholars in American Religion program.
Rebecca Kneale GouldAuthor
Private College or University Institution Type
Syllabus Resource Type
Undergraduate Course Class Type
2005 Date Published
Religious Studies Discipline
Catholic, Indigenous, Judaism, New Religious Movements, Protestant Religous Tradition
Class/Power, Gender/Women/ Sexuality, Immigration/Refugees, Politics/Law/Government, Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars, Race/Ethnicity, Nationalism/War/Civil Religion Topics