Monday, 30 January 2012

Christmas for an Eighteenth-Century Religious Historian

I imagine that February 14, 15, and 16 will be like Christmas for me. On those dates, Gerald McDermott, Thomas Kidd, and Catherine Brekus will be giving the February LeRoy Martin Lectures (respectively), with the following theme: "Religion in Early America: From the Great Awakening to the Revolution." From the perspective of an eighteenth-century religious historian, such as myself, these speakers represent the best of breed in that category. All three scholars will be talking about subjects related to new or forthcoming books. McDermott will be lecturing on a topic pertaining to his new book on Jonathan Edwards, Kidd on Patrick Henry's religion, and Brekus on Sarah Osborn.

What is especially exciting for me is that the material from these lectures relates to a current course that I am teaching this semester entitled, "Religion in the Age of Wesley, Whitefield, and Edwards." For fifty minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I have the privilege of talking to fifteen students at UTC about the revivals in America and Great Britain. As we discuss the various facets of the culture and context of the eighteenth century, I almost always mention information that comes from these authors, especially Kidd's work on the Great Awakening. Sometimes it is hard for me to believe that I am paid to teach such a class!

We are planning on videoing the lectures, and so if you would like to purchase a DVD of any of the individual lectures for $10, my contact information is here.

Jonathan Yeager

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