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March 17, 2005

Founding Fathers discuss religion in the 18th century during CW's recognition of Religion Month in April

April is Religion Month and during special programs at Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, prominent 18th-century residents describe the role religion played in their lives while 21st-century scholars discuss the importance of religion in the colonial era. All programs will take place in the Hennage Auditorium and include:

  • Mondays (April 11, 18 and 25), Videotape programs
    12:30 p.m., “Gospel of Liberty.” This award-winning program discusses the Great Awakening in Virginia and the role of Presbyterian Minister Samuel Davies in the struggle for religious tolerance. 45 minutes.
    2 p.m., “A Link Among the Days.” Explore Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin’s dream to restore Colonial Williamsburg. 30 minutes.
    3:30 p.m., “Our Common Passage.” This one-woman drama depicts the lives of four women and their experiences of motherhood, childbirth and loss in colonial America before and during the Revolution. 45 minutes.
  • Tuesdays (April 12, 19 and 26), 4 p.m., “Gowan Pamphlet: God is My Rock.” Gowan Pamphlet, a slave known locally as a popular preacher, offers his perspective on slavery, religion and freedom. 45 minutes.
  • Wednesdays, Visiting Scholar Lecture Series, 4 p.m.
    April 6–“The Curious Identity of An Anglican Minister: James Blair of Virginia,” Edward L.
    Bond, Assistant Professor of History, Alabama A&M University;
    April 13-“Sweet Land of Liberty,” C. Jan Swearingen, Professor of English, Texas A&M
    University;
    April 20-“The Religion of the Founding Fathers,” David L. Homes, Professor of Religion,
    The College of William and Mary, Virginia; and
    April 27-“Christian Forgiveness and Anglo-Indian Relationships in Early New England,” Mark Valeri, E. T. Thompson Professor of Church History, Union Theological Seminary, Virginia.
  • Thursdays (April 7, 21 and 28), 2 and 3:30 p.m., “Jefferson and Henry Debate the Separation Between Church and State.” Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry present to the public their respective bills concerning religion before the Virginia legislature in 1784. 45 minutes. Reservations required.
  • Fridays (April 15, 22 and 29), 4 p.m., “Walk by Faith, Not by Sight.” James Waddell, Presbyterian preacher, discusses the challenges of leading a dissenting group in Anglican Virginia. 45 minutes.
  • Saturdays (April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and Thursday, April 14), 2 and 3:30 p.m., “The Faith of the Founding Fathers.” Patrick Henry or Thomas Jefferson discusses how religion affects his daily life. 45 minutes. Reservations required.
  • Sundays (April 17 and 24)
    2 p.m., “To Such Belong the Kingdom of God.” Martha Washington speaks with children and adults about proper upbringing and family matters. 45 minutes. Reservations required.
    4 p.m., “The First Lady Reflects on the Role of Religion in Her Life.” Martha Washington shares her views on religion. 45 minutes. Reservations required.

    All Religion Month programs are included in museum admission. Reservations are required where indicated. Reservations can be made at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket outlet, including the Museum Shop at the Wallace Museum.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121



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