Monthly Archives: April 2015

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 24 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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