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American Religion

“A Religious History of the American People”: A Fiftieth Anniversary Retrospective

When: June 9, 2022, 1:45 pm - Thursday

Where: Ezell 357

Session 4

Session Abstract

A Religious History of the American People was the magisterial work of Professor Sydney Ahlstrom and the pinnacle of grand narrative in the study of American religion in the twentieth century.  Since 1972, when the work was published, the study of American religions has branched out into various subfields, has deployed new methodologies, and has abandoned grand narrative historiography.  In this panel, scholars from various subfields will explore insights and developments since Ahlstrom’s book.  One panelist, himself a scholar of American religion, will also share insights from his time as one of Professor Ahlstrom’s students.


Todd M. Brenneman, Faulkner University, Convener

  • Christina Littlefield, Pepperdine University, Participant
  • Thomas Whittaker, LeTourneau University, Participant
  • Jack Scott, California Community College System, Chancellor, Emeritus, Participant

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James Cone with conferee at the CSC in 2017

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Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson delivering the CSC plenary address

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Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), delivering the CSC plenary address.

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US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith delivering the CSC plenary address

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David Brooks engaging conferees during breakfast at the CSC

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