American Religions

Faculty: Erik Braun, Ashon Crawley, Kathleen Flake, Nichole Flores, Matt Hedstrom, Charles Marsh, Vanessa Ochs, Heather Warren

The American Religions area focuses on the religious cultures of the United States, domestically and transnationally, in both historical and contemporary contexts. As such, the program is interdisciplinary, encompassing historical, theoretical, cultural studies, and anthropological approaches to the study of religion. Nineteenth and twentieth-century US religious history forms the foundation of our training. Students and faculty in American Religions examine religion as a product of particular communities, institutions, and histories, always understood alongside larger cultural, social, economic, and political contexts. Analyses of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, law, economics, and politics are therefore integral to training in American Religions.

Faculty bring expertise in American Protestantism, Mormonism and minority religious traditions, African American religious cultures, American Judaism, Buddhist modernism, American Catholicism, secularism, law, politics, spirituality, and social reform, among other topics—as well as historical and ethnographic methods. Students typically take courses and often comprehensive exams with faculty in other areas of the department, taking advantage of the wide range of faculty expertise across traditions and methods in Religious Studies at UVA.

Graduate students in American Religions have a long tradition of studying closely with faculty and graduate students in the US History track of the Department of History. Students are also encouraged to work with faculty in Anthropology, Art History, the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies, English, Jewish Studies, Media Studies, Music, Politics, Sociology, the School of Law, and any other relevant department or program at UVA.

The University of Virginia offers three graduate certificate programs that may be of interest to students in American Religions:  American Studies, Digital Humanities, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.