This course explores the various religions present in our pluralistic society, and how they coexist in American culture. This course explores the Judeo-Christian foundation of American religion as well as the many other traditions that influence the landscape like Islam, Mormonism, New Religious Movements, and New Age.
We will see the ways media is used to promote religious traditions, and how savvy marketing has had an impact on which traditions thrive. This course is designed chronologically, but also has thematic foci such as marketing, politics, and race.
The course pays particular attention to the generational shifts among religious preference, including dwindling numbers among Catholics and Mainline Christians the exponential growth of evangelicalism.
What am I going to get from this course?
Over 20 lectures and 1.5 hours of content!
Understand how American religion evolved from the Civil War to the Present
See how American religion intersects with American politics, history, and culture
Understand the basic history and development of American majority and minority traditions
About the Instructor
Dr. Susie Meister , Doctor of Religious Studies, Television Personality, Author
Susie has a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research is on the marketing of religion in the United States, prosperity gospel, evangelicals, and Pentecostals. She hosts a podcast called The Meister Piece, where she interview celebrities and newsmakers and she has a book coming out called Being Jesus (RothCo Press). As a former reality TV cast member (Road Rules, The Challenge), she is interested in pop culture and its intersection with religion as well. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and 3-year-old son.
Section 1: Welcome to Religion in Modern American
Introduction: What to Expect From the Course
Section 2: Introduction to Religion in Modern America
Christianity and the Civil War
Immigration: Catholics Coming to America
Immigration: Jews Coming to America
Section 3: A New Century: American Religion in the Early 1900s
Birth of Modern Pentecostalism
The Scopes Trial and the Face of Fundamentalism
Depression Era Religion: Fascism and Anti-Semitism
Section 4: Mid-Century Religious Movements and Marketing
American Judaism: Adapting to Abundance
Vatican II: Changing Catholicism
Section 5: The Sixties and Seventies
New Age Religion
Civil Rights and Liberation Theology
Baby Boomers and Individualized Religion
Section 6: Minority Religions
Islam in America
New Religious Movements (Cults)
Section 7: Religion in the Digital Age
Televangelists and Celebrity Pastors
Catholicism in Crisis
Generation X, Millennials, and the Future of American Religion