Beacon Street Diary blog

Cotton Mather: The First American Evangelical

If you enjoyed last year's Mather Redux symposium (or wished you could have attended), we have good news for you. One of the featured presenters from that event will be speaking at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy next Friday evening as part of their Boston Semester program.

Cotton Mather: The First American Evangelical

Dr. Rick Kennedy, Professor of History at Point Loma Nazarene University, will give a lecture entitled "Cotton Mather: The First American Evangelical" on Friday, October 24 at 7:00pm in Munro Parlor.

(click on the poster image to enlarge)


This lecture shares a title with Kennedy's forthcoming biography of Mather (Eerdmans, 2015):

Cotton Mather (1663-1728) was America's most famous pastor and scholar at the beginning of the eighteenth century. People today generally associate him with the infamous Salem witch trials, but that picture has mostly come down to us from one unreliable, antagonistic source.

This biography by Rick Kennedy, based largely on new research by an international team of scholars, corrects misconceptions of Cotton Mather and focuses on the way he tried to promote, socially and intellectually, a biblical lifestyle. As older Puritan hopes in New England were giving way to a broader and shallower Protestantism, Mather led a populist, Bible-oriented movement that embraced the new century — the beginning of a dynamic evangelical tradition that eventually became a major force in American culture.

Prof. Kennedy is a passionate speaker, and his talk is sure to be a good time.