Last night Ed Blum delivered his lecture, "Satan Was the First Secessionist: Devil Talk and the American Civil War," as part of the LeRoy Martin Distinguished Lecture Series that I organize at UTC. Ed's lecture was based on his next book-length project in which he will be analyzing the various depictions of Satan and devils produced at the time of the Civil War.
Ed used a variety of media and images in his lecture, including music, envelopes, manuscript letters, and newspapers. He made fascinating connections between John Brown and Abraham Lincoln and evaluated the apparent hypocrisy of the American Revolution being acceptable to many but not a secession from the Union.
I appreciated Ed's engaging style of speaking. Not only is he funny and personable, he also has an incredible depth of knowledge on American religious history and culture, especially in the 19th century. Overall, it was a wonderful talk.
If you are looking to book a first-class lecturer to talk at your college, university, or church, I hope that you will consider Blum as a speaker.