The Old Faith in a New Nation

Event start date

March 29, 2023

On March 29, The Institute on Religion and Democracy will be hosting Paul Gutacker, the director of the Brazos Fellows and a lecturer at Baylor University, in discussing his new book, The Old Faith in a New Nation: American Protestants and the Christian Past. A reception will begin at 6:00 PM, and the lecture itself will start at 6:30 PM.

Conventional wisdom holds that tradition and history meant little to nineteenth-century American Protestants, who relied on common sense and “the Bible alone.”¬†The Old Faith in a New Nation¬†challenges this portrayal by recovering evangelical engagement with the Christian past. Even when they appeared to be most scornful toward tradition, most optimistic and forward-looking, and most confident in their grasp of the Bible, evangelicals found themselves returning, time and again, to Christian history. They studied religious historiography, reinterpreted the history of the church, and argued over its implications for the present. Between the Revolution and the Civil War, American Protestants were deeply interested in the meaning of the Christian past.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Collin Bastian at