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Saints, Sinners, and Sisters: Women and Religion in American History

Why have women been the majority of religious congregations? What sorts of gender structures are central to religious groups in America? How has women’s relationship to religious institutions changed over time? This course will help foster students’ ability to think, read, and write about American religious history and women’s history from an informed and critical perspective. This course will span the time period from the colonial era to the twentieth century. However, instead of seeking to be complete in its coverage (since this would be impossible), this course will focus on key periods in the formation of American women’s relationship to religious ideas and institutions. Topics include: Native American women and Colonialism, Puritan Women, Quakerism, Witchcraft Accusations, Evangelicalism, American Catholic Life, Black Churches in America, Social Movements, Spiritualism, the L.D.S. Church, Jewish Women in America, Fundamentalism, Muslim Women, Modern Witchcraft, Goddess Movements, and Buddhism.


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

Anna M. Lawrence

Florida Atlantic University

Private College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Undergraduate Course
Class Type

Date Published

Religious Studies, American Studies, History, Women's Studies

Buddhism, Catholic, General Comparative Traditions, Judaism, New Religious Movements
Religous Tradition

Family/Children/Reproduction, Gender/Women/ Sexuality, Race/Ethnicity

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