Religion has played a complex, vibrant, and multifaceted role in our nation's history. One of the most effective ways to help students explore its vitality is through primary sources. American Religions: A Documentary History is the only one-volume, up-to-date collection of primary sources available for American religious history courses. Featuring a creative dual structure-the readings are arranged both chronologically and thematically-this indispensable sourcebook can be used in both historically and topically organized courses. Balancing canonical works with those by newly discovered voices, American Religions: A Documentary History includes seventy-five classic and contemporary selections from the colonial period through the present day. It offers readings by a uniquely wide range of religiously, socially, and ethnically diverse writers: theological conservatives and liberals, northerners and southerners, women and men, and African Americans and Mexican Americans alongside Anglo-Americans. The selections are long enough to stimulate serious discussion yet concise enough for students to digest easily.
The volume is organized into six sections that cover different chronological periods, each of which contains writings on five themes: theological reflections, ritual and performance, spiritual autobiography, interreligious conflict and negotiation, and more expansive conceptualizations of religion. Enhanced by brief biographies of the authors, a general introduction, and section introductions, the text also includes two sample syllabi-one oriented toward a historical approach and the other toward a thematic approach. Ideal for introductory courses in religion in America and American religious history-taught both in religious studies and history departments-American Religions: A Documentary History offers students a broad yet in-depth and engaging gateway into the subject.