The United States has been an empire since the time of its founding, and this empire is inextricably intertwined with American religion. Religion and US Empire examines the relationship between these dynamic forces throughout the country’s history and into the present. The volume will serve as the most comprehensive and definitive text on the relationship between US empire and American religion.
Whereas other works describe religion as a force that aided or motivated American imperialism, this comprehensive new history reveals how imperialism shaped American religion―and how religion historically structured, enabled, challenged, and resisted US imperialism. Chapters move chronologically from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first, ranging geographically from the Caribbean, Michigan, and Liberia, to Oklahoma, Hawai’i, and the Philippines. Rather than situating these histories safely in the past, the final chapters ask readers to consider present day entanglements between capitalism, imperialism, and American religion. Religion and US Empire is an urgent work of history, offering the context behind a relationship that is, for better or worse, very much alive today.