Nashotah House Theological Seminary has partnered with All Saints Episcopal Cathedral to bring Dr. David Holmes, eminent scholar of American religion, to speak. On Wednesday, February 12, Dr. Holmes addressed “The Religion of the Founding Fathers” in Adams Hall at the House.
For the students and guests at Nashotah House, this was a wonderful opportunity to hear a very knowledgeable speaker address the topic of Christianity, deism and America’s founding Fathers, with a focus on Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison and James Monroe:
Addressing myths surrounding the Founding Fathers and comparing those myths to their actual diaries and letters, Dr. Holmes noted, “Some, like Martha Washington, Samuel Adams, John Jay, and Patrick Henry, held orthodox Christian views. However, many of the most influential figures, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John and Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James and Dolley Madison, and James Monroe, were believers of a different stripe. As moderns, let us view the Founders and remember to place them in an historical context. The Founders’ theological beliefs contain lessons for contemporary society, but we must remember that the ‘past does things differently’ when trying to place 18th-century views and practices into a modern context.”
Tonight, Dr Holmes will present “The Faith of the Postwar Presidents: Truman through Obama” at All Saints Cathedral, 818 Juneau Avenue, Milwaukee.
A church historian, David L. Holmes is Walter G. Mason Professor of Religious Studies, Emeritus, at the College of William and Mary. At William & Mary, Dr. Holmes received teaching awards, including the Graves Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching, the Outstanding Faculty Award of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Thomas Jefferson Award, the highest honor given by the University of Virginia to an administrator or professor.
Dr. Holmes wrote the A Brief History of the Episcopal Church (1993), The Faiths of the Founding Fathers (2006), and the The Faiths of the Postwar Presidents: From Truman to Obama (2012).