From the spiritual beliefs and practices of American Indians to the arrival of colonists who brought with them their own religions, the United States has been characterized by religious diversity and change - change that has been supported by the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees everyone the right to practice their own religion. ""Religion in America"" traces this development of religion in the United States throughout American history - from colonial days to the present. From the religions of indigenous populations to the religious developments of the 21st century, such religions as Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and many more have made a lasting impression on the people and culture of the United States. One focus of this invaluable volume is on the laws and government of the United States, which have provided a unique opportunity for a wide variety of religious expression and religious change. Each chapter begins with a detailed narrative of the religious events of that time - including the stories of the people and movements, such as how The Great Awakening of the 18th century fostered the emergence of new organized religions - as well as the role of religion in society and culture at that time. Chronologies of important events follow, along with eyewitness testimonies covering a wide variety of religions - including Quaker leader William Penn, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and writer and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, as well as hundreds more. This volume also features relevant primary source documents, including the Declaration of Independence; Amendment I, U.S. Constitution; Civil Rights Act of 1964; and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Statement of Purpose. Additional features that will be useful to students include 151 concise biographies of important individuals, such as Nation of Islam Leader Elijah Muhammed, 110 black-and-white photographs and illustrations, as well as maps, graphs, and tables, a glossary, appendixes, notes, a thorough bibliography, and an index.
Religion in America