HIST 3328

History of Religion in America

Fall 2023

Dr. Mark Stoll
Office: Humanities 454     Office hours: Monday, Wednesday 11:00–12:30; and by appointment
📧Mark.Stoll@ttu.edu     🌐http://www.markstoll.net/


“History of Religion in America” examines the ways that Americans have expressed and acted on religious belief from before Columbus until the present. The course investigates how religion has influenced (and been influenced by) society, ideas, economics, politics, gender relations, and many other historical factors. Through lecture, readings, and discussion, students will explore the sometimes strange and fascinating world of religion in America.


Allan Greer, Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits

Spencer W. McBride, Pulpit and Nation: Clergymen and the Politics of Revolutionary America

Paul Johnson and Sean Wilentz, The Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and Salvation in Nineteenth-Century America

Lerone A. Martin, Preaching on Wax: The Phonograph and the Shaping of Modern African American Religion

Christopher Lane, Surge of Piety: Norman Vincent Peale and the Remaking of American Religious Life

J. Russell Hawkins, The Bible Told Them So: How Southern Evangelicals Fought to Preserve White Supremacy



60% total: Three midterm examinations (13%) and a cumulative final examination (21%)
30% total: Six readings quizzes
10%: A 4–6 page analytical book review

Exams: Exams will consist of short answers and an essay. Students will have an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of religious history as well as to engage issues raised in lectures and readings. Make-up exams will be given on the last Tuesday of classes only.

Quizzes: Quizzes will test students’ comprehension and understanding of the readings. Make-up quizzes will be given on the last Tuesday of classes only.

Paper: Students will write an analytical book review on a book of their choice, drawn from my bibliography (excluding edited collections of essays or books required for the course). Papers must be between four and six pages in length, double spaced, with one-inch margins all around, in 12-point Times New Roman, with a cover sheet, and stapled in the upper lefthand corner. Cite sources for quotations by putting the page number(s) in parentheses after the quotation marks and before any punctuation, thusly: (p. 57).

Grammar and punctuation must be correct. For links to online writing advice, see https://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/uwc/undergraduate/index-original.php. Also, the University Writing Center (paid for by your fees!) would be happy to help you polish your writing. They can help you in person or via the Internet and can be reached through their Website. No footnotes or bibliography are needed.

Instructions for the analytical book review: For this review, students will select a book on religious history from the bibliography of American religious history on my Website. There is a full bibliography here http://www.markstoll.net/Bibliographies/US/Religious.htm and an abridged one here: https://www.markstoll.net/HIST3328/2023/Short_bib.htm.Students may select a book not on the bibliography if I approve it. The book review will have three sections:

Late Papers: I accept late papers but deduct 5 points from the paper grade for each weekday they are late. Papers handed in after the beginning of class period on the day they are due are already late. No computer excuses accepted; give yourself extra time for last-minute disasters like printer problems, etc.
Plagiarism: Using text written by someone else (even in a close paraphrase) without clear and unambiguous acknowledgment is academic dishonesty and will result in an “F” for the course.



I will take roll at the beginning of each class. Students with a perfect attendance record will receive three bonus points on their final grades. Students with more than two absences will receive one point off their final grades for each absence over two. The instructor will accept excuses in cases of true need as documented appropriately.



Because electronic devices distract both the student and other students around them, all electronic devices must be turned off during class time. That includes cell phones or laptops. Students using cell phones in class will be asked to leave and will be counted absent for the day. Laptops may be used only if the instructor gives permission, but students must use the computer for class-related activities only, such as note-taking. This means no e-mail, social media, Internet surfing, video watching, or other non-academic activities. If, during an exam, a student is seen using any electronic device, the exam will be collected immediately and receive a failing grade.


Texas Tech Policies Concerning Academic Honesty, SpecialAccommodations for Students with Disabilities, Student Absences for Observanceof Religious Holy Days, and Accommodations for Pregnant Students


AI Policy:

The use of generative AI tools (such as ChatGPT) is not permitted in this course; therefore, any use of AI tools for work in this class may be considered a violation of Texas Tech’s Academic Integrity policy and the Student Code of Conduct since the work is not your own. The use of unauthorized AI tools will result in referral to the Office of Student Conduct.


§  The Department of History adheres to Texas Tech University’s statement and related policies on issues of academic integrity.

§  Any student found to be in violation of these policies will be subject to disciplinary action at both the departmental and university levels. At the departmental level, such action may include one or more of the following:

o   a failing grade (F) for the assignment in question

o   a failing grade (F) for the course

o   a written reprimand

o   disqualification from scholarships and/or funding


The professor reserves the right to change this syllabus at his discretion. Changes will be announced in class and posted on the class Webpages. © 2023 Mark R. Stoll. All rights reserved.

History 3328 Course Schedule: Fall 2023

Aug 25 No class

Aug 28 Introduction: What is religion?

Aug 30 Religions of Native America

Sep 1 The Evolution of European Religion

Sep 4 Labor Day--No class

Sep 6 The Reformation

Sep 8 The Reformation cont.

Sep 11 Quiz: Greer, Mohawk Saint

Sep 13 Rise of English Puritanism

Sep 15 Puritan New England

Sep 18 Puritan New England cont.

Sep 20 Troubles in New England

Sep 22 Quiz: McBride, Pulpit and Nation


Sep 27 The Great Awakening

Sep 29 Establishment and Diversity

Oct 2 Establishment and Diversity cont.

Oct 4 Enlightenment and Religion; Religion and Revolution

Oct 6 Quiz: Johnson and Wilentz, The Kingdom of Matthias

Oct 9 Religion in the New Nation

Oct 11 The Second Great Awakening

Oct 13 The Second Great Awakening cont.


Oct 18 The Second Great Awakening in the North

Oct 20 The Second Great Awakening in the North, cont.

Oct 23 Quiz: Martin, Preaching on Wax

Oct 25 Mormonism; Unitarianism

Oct 27 Transcendentalism; Religion and Abolitionism

Oct 30 Religion and the Defense of Slavery, and the Civil War

Nov 1 Black Religion after Slavery; Science and Protestantism

Nov 3 Creationism

Nov 6 Quiz: Lane, Surge of Piety

Nov 8 Catholicism in the nineteenth century


Nov 13 Anti-Catholicism; Liberal Protestantism

Nov 15 The Social Gospel

Nov 17 Quiz: Hawkins, The Bible Told Them So

Nov 20 Fundamentalism

Nov 22-24 Thanksgiving Break--No class

Nov 27 Jews in America

Nov 29 Religion between the World Wars

Dec 1 The Churches in the Fifties and Sixties

Dec 4 Sixties and Seventies: Transformation of Popular Religion
Book review due

Dec 5 All Make-Up Exams and Quizzes, All Day

Dec 11 — Monday — 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.