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American Religious History by Patrick N. Allitt

American Religious History

by Patrick N. Allitt

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Title Details

Audio Original
Running Time
12 Hrs.
User Rating
  4.6  Stars Based on 5 ratings


This course explores the particularly rich history of religion in the U.S.

Beginning with myths and realities about "Puritans," the lectures explain how rivalry among competing Protestant groups led to the constitutional compromise that is written into the First Amendment.

Central to the course is a discussion of the impact of religiously diverse immigrants in the 19th century.

Other topics include:

  • the religious dimensions of the Civil War
  • how religious Americans adapted to an industrial and urban world, including their choices in adapting to new ideas such as evolution, or sticking to their faith in biblical literalism
  • how religious celebrities like Fulton Sheen and Billy Graham took advantage of modern media to spread their gospels.

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Reviewer pgmd2
 February 17, 2006
The course entitled “American Religious History” was presented by the same Professor Patrick Allitt, who taught “American Identity”, which is another Teaching Company course. This course chronicles the history of religion within the United States starting with the Native Indians and eventually moved onto the role of the Puritans in shaping our belief system. All of the major religions were presented and analyzed in these series of lectures such as Catholicism and Judaism. As well, other Chinese religions such as Buddhism were introduced towards the end of the course.

The most notable lectures for me were the ones on Darwin and his theories of Evolutions. It might have been interesting to hear more about how this theory was received by the Protestants at that time. As well the lectures presented on the Civil Rights Movement and Feminism in regards to American religious history was interesting as well.

The course did seem similar to “American Identity” in the way it approached the subject at hand. All of the lectures seemed well planned, and showed what influences religion have had on America. These influences can be seen in the speeches from Abraham Lincoln and from Martin Luther King, Jr. However, the lectures in this course seemed not just a lesson in America’s religious history, but it could also have been interpreted as a broader lesson in American history without any reference to religion. The course was available on both video and audio cassettes.

More Details

  • Published: 2002
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: A002591
Available On
Audio CD
12 Discs