This course will chart the origins and development of the various (and primarily Christian) religious movements that have shaped and been shaped by the American experience, with a goal toward understanding and appreciating the richness, complexity, and influence of this country’s contemporary religious landscape. We will explore the answers to countless questions that you may not have realized you even had: What happened to the Puritans – are any of them still around? Why are there Southern Baptist churches in New England? What are people really saying when they call themselves ‘agnostics’? My hope is that when this course is over, you will look upon the subject of religion in America with discerning eyes– that you will appreciate the diversity and sophistication of religious belief, even if a particular belief or “belief” in general is not something you share, and that you will recognize the extent to which some of the best and worst parts of contemporary American society are a byproduct of the fact that people have believed.
This syllabus was created for the Young Scholars in American Religion program.
Maura Jane FarrellyAuthor
Private College or University Institution Type
Syllabus Resource Type
Undergraduate Course Class Type
2011 Date Published
American Studies, History Discipline
Atheism/Agnosticism/Skepticism, General Comparative Traditions, Judaism, Protestant Religous Tradition
Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars, Race/Ethnicity Topics