American Religions: An Illustrated History is a brief summary of how we have arrived at this most interesting development in the human drama. The story begins at the end of the fifteenth century when Europeans discovered the continent and made their initial contacts with the more than 500 different peoples that inhabited it. There was already great diversity among the Native Americans, and the Europeans injected the different varieties of Christianity and Judaism. Here our story really begins and unfolds as the new settlers conquered the land, pushed aside its original inhabitants, and created a new society that we like to think of as the greatest nation on earth. Any account of the mosaic necessarily requires both a perspective and a considerable amount of interpretation.