RAAC IUPUI > Search Resources > Religion in American Life

Religion in American Life

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 Farrelly

Brandeis University

Private College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Undergraduate Course
Class Type

Date Published

American Studies, History

Atheism/Agnosticism/Skepticism, General Comparative Traditions, Judaism, Protestant
Religous Tradition

Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars, Race/Ethnicity

Link to Resource