America’s Religious History

Benedictine University

America’s Religious History

Benedictine University

Audio Sample:

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

At seventy-seven percent, the population of people in the United States with a religious affiliation is the largest in the industrialized world. America’s first settlements, founding documents, and most important traditions are replete with religious sentiment.

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.

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Audio Sample:

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

At seventy-seven percent, the population of people in the United States with a religious affiliation is the largest in the industrialized world. America’s first settlements, founding documents, and most important traditions are replete with religious sentiment.

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.

Learn about downloadable programs.

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  • American Religions and “America”
  • Catholic Beginnings in North America
  • Religious Diversity in the British Colonies
  • The Puritan Experience in New England
  • The Great Awakening
  • Jonathan Edwards and American Theology
  • The Enlightenment in the US
  • African-American Religions
  • The Second Great Awakening
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Liberal Tradition
  • Ann Lee and the Shakers
  • Joseph Smith and the Latter-Day Saints
  • Catholics in Protestant America
  • Jewish Diversity in the US
  • Black Elk and Native American Religions
  • Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science
  • The World’s Parliament of Religions
  • Fundamentalism and US Culture
  • The Birth and Growth of Pentecostalism
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., and US Social Gospels
  • Malcolm X and Islam in the US
  • Mary Daly and Feminist Theologies
  • Asian Religions in the US
  • The Changing US Religious Landscape

Prof. Peter A. Huff is Director of the Center for Mission and Ministry and Professor of Religious Studies at Benedictine University and an expert on ecumenism and interreligious dialogue. He is the author of The Voice of Vatican II (Liguori, 2012), What Are They Saying About Fundamentalisms? (Paulist, 2007), and Allen Tate and the Catholic Revival (Paulist, 1996) and he co-edited volumes: Knowledge and Belief in America (Cambridge University, 1995) and Tradition and Pluralism (University Press of America, 2008). His articles and reviews have appeared in journals such as Cross Currents, Horizons, and the Journal of the American Academy of Religion.

Previously, Prof. Huff held the Besl Family Chair in Ethics/Religion and Society at Xavier University and the T. L. James Chair in Religious Studies at Centenary College of Louisiana. A 2007 Resident Scholar at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research, he has also taught at the University of Puget Sound and Saint Anselm College. Prof. Huff received a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Saint Louis University. A former board member of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies, he is active in interreligious dialogue.

Praise for Prof Peter A. Huff

“Peter Huff is one of the leading scholars advocating for responsible religious dialogue and working to make a better world. Peter is able to capture critical ideas with great precision and force. He combines excellent scholarship with an eloquent style.”
– Harold Kasimow, George Drake Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies, Grinnell College

“Peter Huff brings an extraordinary background to the study and practice of world religions—both from his extensive research in the field and his personal experience. He knows firsthand the breadth of Roman Catholicism in America, the Evangelical Protestant traditions of the South, and the beauty of Buddhist and Hindu ways of seeking the Divine. Best of all, he invites the reader to value (and engage with) each one.” 
– Belden C. Lane, Professor Emeritus of Theological Studies, Saint Louis University 

“Peter Huff consistently produces accessible, expert studies of religions in America. An engaging teacher, Huff introduces students to the entire spectrum of religious existence: beliefs, communities, rituals, and ethics. His scholarship is no different. His work encompasses and illuminates while advancing new analysis. Huff’s clear presentation style belies his subjects’ complexities.”
– Jeffrey Marlett, Professor of Religious Studies, The College of Saint Rose

“Professor Peter Huff is an unusually well-rounded scholar whose educational roots go back to such diverse sources as Hans Kung and Josef Ratzinger. He is an innovative teacher and a distinguished contributor to interreligious dialogue, especially among Christians, Buddhists and Mormons.”
– Prof. Michael Sweeney, Xavier University

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