Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Franklin’

Thomas Kidd on Benjamin Franklin’s Faith

Contemporary imagery often paints Benjamin Franklin as a Deist who saw little importance for an active religious faith. However, Franklin’s personal views of Christianity, as well as his shared public views, were much deeper and nuanced than many scholars will admit. Prof. Thomas Kidd (Baylor University) discusses Ben Franklin’s religious journey from growing up in a house with deeply Calvinist parents and siblings, through his rebellious teen years, a friendship with the fames preacher George Whitefield, and finally to a mature view of Christianity that emphasized the role of Providence and a virtuous citizenry.

Explore our archives for more episodes related to the Founding Era of the United States.

Mark David Hall on Roger Sherman, Puritan Patriot

Just in time for July 4th, Mark David Hall discusses one of the least known of the most influential Founding Fathers in American history, Roger Sherman. Building on last week’s theme, Prof. Hall uses Roger Sherman to illustrate how Reformed (Calvinist) theology had a profound influence on American ideals and institutions. Roger Sherman, a staunch Calvinist from Connecticut, figured prominently in the formulation of several critical documents in US history, including the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the US Constitution (including the Bill of Rights). Prof. Hall also reflects upon the question of whether or not America was founded as a Christian nation.

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Thomas Kidd on The Great Awakening

Prof. Thomas Kidd (Baylor University) discusses the causes and consequences of The Great Awakening in the middle part of the 18th century. Learn about the great preachers George Whitefield, James Davenport and Gilbert Tennent, and find out what impact this evangelical revival had on the abolitionist movement and the American Revolution. (To download, right click on the button to the right and choose “save target as….”)

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