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March 29, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg’s Religion Month Lecture Series Examines Religion and Revolutionary Political Ideas in 18th-century Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg’s 2012 Religion Month Scholarly Lecture Series examines revolutionary ideas in religion and politics in 18th-century Virginia. These one-hour programs will be held throughout April in the Hennage Auditorium of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Art Museum, 326 W. Francis St., in Williamsburg.

Programs include:

  • Evangelical Enlightenments: From Virginia’s Great Awakening to the Declaration of Independence. C. Jan Swearingen, a professor at Texas A&M University, explores the connections between religious thought and political ideas in Revolutionary Virginia. 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 4.
  • Planter Royalism and Religious Disputes: Toward a New View of the 18th-century Church of England in Virginia. Historian Carla Gardina Pestana of Miami University explores the seeming contradiction between Virginia planters’ pride in their heritage of loyalty to the monarchy and their bickering with officials who represented the church headed by King Charles I. Pestana will sign copies of “Protestant Empire: Religion and the Making of the British Atlantic World” in the Museum Store following the program. 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 11.
  • Mending Wall or Spite Fence?: Revisiting Thomas Jefferson’s Wall of Separation Between Church and State. Daniel L. Dreisbach, a professor at American University, examines Jefferson’s famous figure of speech in its literary and historical context and considers its influence on popular and judicial interpretations of the constitutional provisions governing church-state relations. Dreisbach will sign copies of “Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation between Church and State” in the Museum Store following the program. 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 18.
  • Religion and the Making of Nat Turner’s Virginia. Randolph Ferguson Scully, a professor of George Mason University, discusses how evangelical Christianity transformed black and white religion in 18th- and 19th-century Virginia. Scully will sign copies of “Religion and the Making of Nat Turner’s Virginia” in the Museum Store following the program. 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 25.

    These lectures are included in Historic Area and museum admission.

    Religion Month programming is made possible with a grant from the Kern Family Foundation, Waukesha, Wis. These are only a portion of the programs offered during Religion Month. Several other programs take place in the Historic Area and the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg in April. For more information, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit

    Programs and exhibitions at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Colonial Williamsburg Hotels feature conference spaces and recreation activities from spa and fine dining to world-class golf. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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