This course provides an introduction to the history, themes, and issues in American religion from the precolonial period to the present. It is divided into three sections. The first provides an historical overview and an introduction to some of the religions that have been most prominent–Catholicism, Protestant, and Judaism–as well the traditions that are native to the land. The second and third sections consider some “non-traditional” religions (those outside orthodox Judaism and Christianity). Those sects and religions include, for instance, Mormons, Shakers, Zen Buddhists, and Black Muslims. We also explore in those last two sections of the course a wide range of topics. Most of them concern the relation between religion and some other theme or dimension of American life–politics, art, science, literature, music, race, gender, class, and popular culture. This is a writing intensive class.
This syllabus was created for the Young Scholars in American Religion program.
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillInstitution
Public College or University Institution Type
Syllabus Resource Type
Undergraduate Course Class Type
1993 Date Published
Religious Studies, American Studies Discipline
General Comparative Traditions Religous Tradition
Gender/Women/ Sexuality, Immigration/Refugees, Popular Culture/Media/Music/Sports, Race/Ethnicity, Nationalism/War/Civil Religion Topics