Book Give-away: Kittelstrom Edition

The marketing folks at Penguin recently sent me an extra copy of Amy Kittelstrom’s forthcoming book The Religion of Democracy: Seven Liberals and the American Moral Tradition.

I’ve not read it extensively, yet, but it carries some nice recommendations from well-known historians Jill Lepore, Daniel Walker Howe, and David D. Hall.

Kittelstrom is using intensive intellectual history to create a genealogy of liberalism in America.

I’ll be happy to send this book on to some fortunate reader. To win it, though, requires that you post a comment on this page. In the comment, answer this question: how would you define American liberalism? Be civil, be reflective.

Whoever leaves the best definition by noon on April 20 will get a copy of the book.

The Religion of Democracy

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Houston Recap

In my last post, I pointed out I still needed to blog about my Houston trip from early last week.

The trip went really well. I was pleased to be hosted by John Wilsey of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. If you haven’t seen his blog “To Breathe Your Free Air,” make sure to check it out! John and I had some great conversations about religion in the American Revolution and its continued import for understanding the world today.

The event was hosted by the Land Center for Cultural Engagement. I am glad they made it possible, and enjoyed meeting its associate director, Trey Dimsdale.

I was able to give a luncheon address on “Federalists, Religion, and Public Engagement,” which drew on some themes from Patriotism and Piety. Students were engaged, and I especially appreciated the students who followed up after the talk. A picture of my speaking even made it online:

The trip was also great for other personal connections. I got to talk with Miles Mullin again. Check out his contributions at the Anxious Bench. Phillip Sinitierre also joined us for a meal. Phil’s book on Joel Osteen will be out this fall–you won’t want to miss it! Finally, I was glad to meet the patristics scholar Stephen Presley.

The trip went quickly, but thanks to all who made it work!

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Frederick Douglass, William Jay, the Federalists, and the Underground Railroad

My last post highlighted that I would be traveling down to Houston, Texas for a presentation at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The trip was great and deserves its own post.

For now, let me highlight a piece of my writing that just went up today at the Religion in American History site.

My monthly article ties together the famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass with a lesser-known but very important abolitionist writer William Jay. Jay, it just so happens, is an important figure in Patriotism and Piety: Federalist Politics and Religious Struggle in the New American Nation.

Also, in a recently-released book about the underground railroad in New York, historian Eric Foner highlighted the importance of both William and his son John for supporting the cause of fugitive slaves in New York.

Read the whole piece, here.

William Jay, active abolitionist

William Jay, active abolitionist

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On the Road with the Federalists, Part 2

I should have entitled my last post about traveling to the University of Missouri to present about John Jay as “On the Road with the Federalists.”

I’ll just declare that was the intent, which means I can make this post “Part 2.”

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be speaking in Houston, Texas next Monday, March 30 on “The Federalists, Religion, and Public Engagement.”

The event will take place at noon, at the Houston Campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I am grateful for the sponsorship of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement for making this event happen.

Texas friends are welcome to attend.

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Presenting at the University of Missouri this Friday

I’ll be presenting at the University of Missouri-Columbia this Friday (2/20). The paper I’ll be presenting is “John Jay’s Retirement and the Ends of Federalism.” The event will be held at 3:30 PM in Read Hall, Room 304. I’m grateful to be hosted by the Kinder Forum on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri.

The description of the event is here.

The event is public, so if you are in the central Missouri area, please feel free to join us!

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Friday Links

It’s that time again when my browser is overburdened with tabs.

Here are a few things that have been of interest to me, of late:

First, last week I waded into the intersection of Pop Culture (Katy Perry) and Early American History (the Illuminati!).

Some Friday Humor–The Founding Fathers are dropped into an American Mall.

Hot Chocolate as a truly American drink. This gives me great comfort as I’m downing hot chocolate in the midst of a Minnesota winter. It also brings to mind the spiced hot chocolate served at Colonial Williamsburg.

On a much more serious note, Rod Dreher wrote some provocative things.

Peter Lawler on the flaws of Scott Walker’s opinion of higher education.

On the griefs that made T.S. Eliot into a real poet.

Churches in Silicon Valley.

Do you miss playing the Oregon Trail or Carmen Sandiego?

And, let’s not forget the obligatory Patriotism and Piety link.

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Presenting about Blogging at UNWSP

Today I’ll have an opportunity to talk to fellow faculty at my institution, Northwestern, about my blogging endeavors. I’m looking forward to talking about the reasons for my blogging, the ties between blogging and scholarship, and some practical considerations. Since I’ll be presenting with my colleague Keith Jones, I have no doubt it will be rollicking time.

However, if all else fails, I’ll be keeping this Monty Python sketch of Philosophers Playing Football (i.e., Soccer) handy:

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