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More than just ideas and institutions, religion in America is a rich mixture of objects, behaviors and people. Working from 1995 through 2001, the Material History of American Religion Project studied the history of American religion in all its complexity by focusing on material objects and economic themes. Working with religious leaders, it helped contemporary religious communities with their economic concerns by placing those concerns within an historical context. Finally, the Project encouraged further investigations into the religious lives of Americans by paying attention to material and economic questions.

The project was based at the Divinity School at Vanderbilt University and was supported by the Lilly Endowment, Incorporated. The project's director was James Hudnut-Beumler, the divinity school's dean; Daniel Sack was associate director.

The project has concluded its work, but this web site will continue to provide resources for scholars, teachers, and others interested in American religion. See also the information on the project-sponsored traveling exhibit, Picturing Faith.


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