American Examples



Michael J. Altman


  • Steven Ramey
  • Vaia Touna
  • Richard Newton
  • Nathan Loewen
  • Merinda Simmons
  • Emily Crews (University of Chicago)


American Examples produces a different kind of research on religion in America. AE approaches specific case studies of religion in America as opportunities for investigating larger theoretical questions. While the participants and their collaboration shape those questions, they broadly focus on issues of identity (race, gender, class, sexuality, etc.) and social formation (how communities and groups build, maintain, and cross boundaries). Each scholars particular object of study presents one example through which these larger questions can be asked and theories can be tested. This approach to religion in America as examples of larger theories, process, and questions produces scholarship suited toward the religious studies classroom and translatable to broader audiences. The “examples approach,” as we call it, allows scholars to use examples from America to present analyses about how religion shapes politics, gender, race, etc. without an audience needing extensive background knowledge in American history.

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