America's Religious History

America's Religious History

Taught by Thomas S. Kidd

Even while parts of America are becoming more secular, the nation as a whole remains deeply religious. In America’s Religious History, historian Thomas S. Kidd traces the roots and development of American religion from colonial times to the twenty-first century.

Course Details

  • 16 Units

  • Self-paced

  • 6 hours of video

  • Beginner

  • America's Religious History

12 Month Access
$199.99 USD

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Course Description

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In the post-9/11 world, it is not difficult to see how important religion remains in America and around the globe. An older generation of scholars expected that America and the rest of the Western world was headed inexorably toward secularization and the end of religion. America is undoubtedly secular in many ways, and our constitutional order requires a clear distinction between faith communities and government. Yet from the colonial era to the present, American men and women have been, and have remained, a pervasively religious people.

In America's Religious History, leading historian Thomas S. Kidd traces the theological and ethnic diversity and enduring strength of American religion, with special attention to Christianity and evangelical faith. Interweaving religious history and key events from the larger narrative of American history, the course considers how faith commitments and categories have shaped the nation.

Taught with the student in mind, America's Religious History offers an up-to-date, narrative introduction useful for undergraduate and graduate-level courses on American religion. Learners wanting to better understand the religious background of American life and politics will enjoy its engaging and insightful overview.

By completing this course, you’ll gain:

  • Foundational knowledge about the roots and development of American religion throughout the country’s history
  • Insight into the relationships between race, immigration, denomination, and culture and how they have impacted American religion
  • A deeper understanding of how religion shapes American politics, historically and in today’s current climate
  • Confidence in your growing knowledge through personalized review sessions and unit assessments

Meet Your Instructors

Thomas S. Kidd

Ph.D., Notre Dame

Thomas S. Kidd is distinguished professor of history at Baylor University. He has written many books, including America’s Colonial History and The Great Awakening, and also writes and appears regularly in mainstream media. A past winner of a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, he tweets at @ThomasSKidd.

Course Outline

  • Introduction

  • Religion in Early America

  • Reviving American Faith

  • Religion and the American Revolution

  • The Era of the Second Great Awakening

  • Global and Domestic Missions

  • Slave Religion and Manifest Destiny

  • The Slavery Controversy and the Civil War


  • Immigration and Religious Diversity

  • Evolution, Biblical Criticism, and Fundamentalism

  • The Religious Challenges of the World Wars

  • Civil Religion and the Cold War

  • Civil Rights and Church-State Controversy

  • The Christian Right and the Changing Face of American Religion

  • Immigration, Religious Diversity, and the Culture Wars

  • American Religion in the Twenty-First Century



BibleMesh is now offering an integrated reading experience for our new book-based courses. As before, students will be guided through their reading with book excerpts embedded within the course. This allows for an improved reading experience within the course. Students will also be able to pop out the book reader into a full-screen, fully-featured web-based reading platform where they will be able to see the wider context of each excerpt and access the complete book.

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