American Religious History

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Synopsis

How has religion—in all its varieties—contributed to the flavor of life in the United States?

America’s first settlements, founding documents, and most important traditions are replete with religious sentiment. Today, religion continues to play an important role in the lives of American people—nearly 80 percent are religiously affiliated—and institutions.

These audio lectures bring you face to face with the fascinating people, movements, groups, beliefs, and practices that have made the US one of the most religiously diverse nations in the history of the world.

Your guide is Professor Peter A. Huff, an expert on religious pluralism in the US and the co-editor of the volume Knowledge and Belief in America. You will find his discussion balanced and meticulously researched.

Across more than five hundred years of innovation and change, you will trace the development of religious life and thought in America. Prof. Huff invites you to investigate indigenous traditions before turning to the transplantation of religions (like Catholicism) from other continents and the growth of new religious movements (like Shakerism) in the young country.

As you absorb the diversity of religious experience in the US, you will gain not only a deeper understanding of the hows and whys, but also an impressionistic snapshot of the cultural bounty we enjoy as a result of living at the crossroads of so many traditions. Feast at the banquet of American beliefs today.

Chapters

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