HISU 343 History of American Religion

This lecture course surveys the development of the many different religious traditions in the United States from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries. The diverse origins of Americas early settlers and the guarantees of religious freedom embedded in the Constitution encouraged the development in the United States of the most religiously diverse society in the Western world. We will explore that diversity and also seek commonalities between religious movements and their impact on the larger society. In such a survey, the emphasis will necessarily be on those formal religious movements that have made a major impact on American culture, but the importance of less mainline groups and popular belief will also be discussed. The course is non-denominational, non-creedal, and taught as cultural/intellectual/social history.