An overview of the importance of religion, particularly Christianity, has had in American life from the earliest explorations and settlements to the present day and the way that importance has been reflected in numerous religious utopias and dystopias. Positive utopias have been inspired by Christ’s teachings and by Eden, heaven, and the millennium. Dystopias, found mostly in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, reflect, on the one hand, a fear that Christianity is under threat, and, on the other hand, the fear that fundamentalist Christians will impose their beliefs on the country. There have also been a number of Jewish utopias and anti-Semitic dystopias as well as a few Islamic utopias and a growing number of anti-Islamic dystopias based on the belief that Muslims want to impose Shari`a law on everyone.

You do not currently have access to this content.