11/2: Mark Noll on “In the Beginning Was the Word: The Bible in American Public Life, 1492-1783”

The Bible was the key public authority for religion, politics, church, and society from the first colonial settlements through the American Revolution. Yet even as patriots used Scripture to support independence from Britain, others used “the Bible alone” to attack slavery among the Sons of Liberty. This book explains how a tumultuous Protestant history set the stage for U. S. history where the Bible remained extremely important, but as much for political contests as spiritual consolation.

Mark Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, has published God and Race in American Politics: A Short History(2008), The Civil War as a Theological Crisis (2006), and America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln (2002). Recent essays include treatment of the Bible in Canada, the 300th anniversary celebrations of the King James Version, and Catholic uses of Scripture in 19th-century America.

The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center. It meets weekly during the academic year. Seewww.nationalhistorycenter.org for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as webcasts and podcasts. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support.  Reservations requested because of limited seating.