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Religion in American History

America has long been recognized for its distinct religiosity. This semester, we will examine the complex role of religion in the American past and the process by which, often against its will, the United States became home to a baffling variety of religious groups who changed and were changed by America. By the end of the course, you should be able to: 1.) Use “religion” as a category of historical analysis. 2.) Explain the core beliefs, practices, and (most importantly) experiences of Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and other religious groups over time. 3.) Analyze how religion and American culture shaped each other. 4.) Create and complete an original, thesis-driven research project in American religious history supported by primary and secondary sources.


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

T. J. Tomlin

University of Northern Colorado

Public College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Undergraduate Course
Class Type

Date Published

Religious Studies, History

General Comparative Traditions
Religous Tradition

Race/Ethnicity, Nationalism/War/Civil Religion

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