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Religion in Early North America

This writing-intensive course introduces undergraduates to the joys and challenges of studying religion historically. How should we study what people in the past believed? What happened when people from different faith backgrounds met and interacted? How can understanding beliefs help us understand their motivations and actions? How should we think about belief historically? And what can understanding religious belief in the past help us understand about the present? Students will examine these questions through reading and writing about four episodes in the religious history of colonial North America.


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

Rebecca A. Goetz

Rice University

Private College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Undergraduate Course
Class Type

Date Published

Religious Studies, History

Catholic, Indigenous, Other Christianities, Protestant
Religous Tradition

Immigration/Refugees, Pluralism/Secularism/Culture Wars, Race/Ethnicity

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