Kinder Institute Conference: Early American Religion and Politics

American painting

Religion and Politics in Early America, Beginnings to 1820


In partnership with the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, and with support from The Society of Early Americanists, St. Louis University, and Washington University, the Kinder Institute (a JMC partner program) will co-sponsor a conference in St. Louis on “Religion and Politics in Early America, Beginnings to 1820.”

March 1-4, 2018
Chase Park Plaza Hotel • St. Louis, Missouri

Description: This conference explores the intersections between religion and politics in early America from pre-contact through the early republic. All panels relate to the way religion shapes politics or politics shapes religion—how the two come into conflict, collaborate, or otherwise configure each other. We define the terms “religion” and “politics” broadly, including (for example) studies of secularity and doubt. This conference has a broad temporal, geographic, and topical expanse. Scholars will be coming from multiple disciplines, including American Studies, English, History, Law, Political Science, Religious Studies, and more. Finally, special panel series will hold related panels open for all participants to attend. These series will examine the material cultures of religion and politics, Native American religion and politics, mission work, disestablishment and religious toleration, William Penn and his legacy, and the issue of globalization and cosmopolitanism in early America.

Learn more about the conference here >>


Kinder Institute-related participants and presentations include:

—Kinder Institute Associate Professor of Constitutional Democracy and Associate Professor of Law Carli Conklin: “‘fleeting and temporal’ or ‘real and substantial’: Happiness and its Pursuit in the late-Eighteenth Century,” as part of a panel on “The Politics of Happiness in the Early Republic”; and “Louisiana and Missouri,” as part of a panel on “Religious Disestablishment in the South and West”

—Former Kinder Institute Postdoctoral Fellow and Current Sam Houston State University Assistant Professor of History Benjamin Park: “James Branagan’s America(s): Slavery, Religion, and Politics in the Early Republic,” as part of a panel on “Religion and Revolution in the Caribbean and America”

—Kinder Institute Affiliate Faculty member and R.B. Price and Isabelle Wade & Paul C. Lydia Professor Emeritus of Law Carl Esbeck, who will chair the panel on “Religious Disestablishment in the South and West” as well as provide summary remarks for the panel series on “Dissent and Religious Disestablishment in the American States”

Find the full conference program here >>




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