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March 22, 2002

April programming to focus on the role of religion

April is Religion Month at Colonial Williamsburg. Programs at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum’s Hennage Auditorium will focus on the role religion played in the lives of men and women, past and present, and include:

  • Mondays (April 1, 8, 15 and 29), 3:30 p.m., The Unimportance of Things. The Rev. James Ireland, itinerant Baptist preacher, tries to emphasize spiritual needs in response to rising consumerism in the colony. 45 minutes.
  • Tuesdays (April 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30), 2:30 p.m., A Link Among the Days. Learn about the role of Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, rector of Bruton Parish Church, in the restoration of the colonial capital. Video. 30 minutes.
    3:30 p.m., Gospel of Liberty. A dramatization of the life of the Rev. Samuel Davies, a Presbyterian minister, who fought for greater religious liberty in Virginia from 1747 to 1759. Video. 45 minutes.
  • Wednesdays, Visiting Scholar Lecture Series. April 3, 4 p.m., Dreams, Trances and Visions in 18th-century New England, Douglas L. Winiarski, assistant professor, University of Richmond. Supernatural phenomena as reported in 18th-century diaries, journals and other primary sources offer a window into the 18th-century worldview and the minds of colonial Americans. One hour.
    April 10, 4 p.m., “Follow Peace with all good Men of whatsoever Denomination”: Struggling to Practice Religious Toleration in Colonial Virginia, Edward Bond, assistant professor of history, Alabama A&M University. Religion was on the minds of 17th- and 18th-century Virginians much more than secular historians typically have reported. Understanding the role of the established church and the various dissenting groups as agents of change is key to an accurate picture of colonial Virginia. One hour.
    April 17, 4 p.m., Where Are We Going in American Religious History These Days? Mark Valeri, E.T. Thompson professor of church history, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. The place of religious history has changed considerably with the repositioning of social history over the last half-century. One hour.
    April 24 , 4 p.m., “Give Me Liberty”: Patrick Henry and the Parsons, C. Jan Swearingen, professor of English, Texas A&M University. Some historians trace Patrick Henry’s style of oratory to the Rev. Samuel Davies and to Henry’s self-taught practice of law. Like Davies, Henry often was criticized for overly emotional speaking, stirring his audiences with the cheap tricks of a demagogue. Yet, if we examine the substance of their speeches, we can see words mixed with careful thought. One hour.
  • Thursdays, (April 4, 18 and 25), 2:30 and 4 p.m., Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson on the Separation between Church and State. These two founding fathers present their bills concerning the role of religion in post-Revolutionary Virginia. 45 minutes. Included in admission, but requires advance reservations at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket location.
  • Fridays (April 5, 12, 19 and 26), 3:30 p.m., Enlightened Faith: George Wythe. Hear from this important leader and mentor of Thomas Jefferson concerning matters of faith. 45 minutes.
  • Saturdays (April 6, 13, 20 and 27), 2 and 3:30 p.m., A Founding Father Reflects on Religion in His Life. Learn about the role of religion in the personal and public life of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or Patrick Henry. 45 minutes. Included in admission, but requires advance reservations at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket location.
  • Sundays (April 7, 14 and 28), 3:30 p.m., Martha Washington: Woman of Faith. This person of the past reflects on the role of religion in her life. 45 minutes. Included in admission but requires advance reservations at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket location.

    Unless otherwise noted, programs are included in museum admission. For program information, call 7724.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7265



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