This course is guided by two questions. First, how have religious identities, ideals, and practices cultivated and shaped understandings of what it means to "be American"? Second, does America/Americanness function as its own kind of religion? (In other words, while belonging to a Presbyterian church or a Reform Jewish synagogue may be recognizably "religious," does the embrace of "being American" as a central identity do the same work, complete with its own moral codes, ritual practices, and beliefs?) While those two questions guide the course, students will also be asked to consider how race, secularism, pluralism, colonialism, and war have intersected with and augmented American identities. Prerequisites: 4 credits; from subject REL;.