L23 ReSt 3962

Religion and American Society, 1890 to the Present

, T/Th 10:00–11:30AM

This course explores religious life in the United States. 

line drawing of three people teaching superimposed on each other

This course explores religious life in the United States.  We will focus our study on groups and movements that highlight distinctive ways of being both “religious” and “American,” including the Americanization of global religions in the U.S. context. Major themes will include religious encounter and conflict; secularization, resurgent traditionalism, and new religious establishments; experimentalism, eclecticism, and so-called “spiritual” countercultures; the relationship between religious change and broader social and political currents (including clashes over race, class, gender, and sexuality); and the challenges of religious multiplicity in the U.S. You will: 1) acquire knowledge of the disparate religions practiced in North America during the twentieth century and beyond; 2) examine some of the chief conflicts as well as alliances between religion and the American social order in a global context; and 3) develop interpretive tools for understanding religion’s present and enduring role in the U.S. and the world.