Focusing on the circulation of knowledge about religion and religions, this chapter shifts focus from Europe to the history of the study of religion in the United States, highlighting the importance of Morris Jastrow Jr. in the emergence of an academic discipline in America. Like imperial comparative religion, this study of religion was structured by the divide between savagery and civilization, with Native Americans and African Americans cast as proximate savages. This chapter also reviews research in American folklore, anthropology, and religious studies that contrasted the visionary quality of Native American religion with the emotional character of African American religion. In the study of the religions of ancient civilizations, the British interest in India was superseded by the American interest in the Ancient Near East. Between 1914 and 1920, Jastrow dedicated his scholarship to analyzing conflicts and identifying conditions for peace in the Middle East. The chapter concludes with observations about the persistence of imperial comparative religion.
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