Beacon Street Diary blog

Reminder - History Matters series: Sarah Osborn's World

There is still time to let us know if you'll be joining us for this week's free lunchtime discussion.

The Rise of Evangelical Christianity in Early America

Catherine Brekus is the Charles Warren Professor of the History of Religion in America at Harvard Divinity School, and the author of Sarah Osborn's World: The Rise of Evangelical Christianity in Early America.

Sarah Osborn was a schoolteacher, a wife, and a mother, who led a remarkable revival in 1760s Rhode Island that brought hundreds of people, including many slaves, to her house each week. Her extensive written record — encompassing issues ranging from the desire to be "born again" to a suspicion of capitalism — provides a unique vantage point from which to view the emergence of evangelicalism. Brekus sets Sarah Osborn's experience in the context of her revivalist era and expands our understanding of the birth of the evangelical movement — a movement that transformed Protestantism in the decades before the American Revolution.

An innovator in the writing of American religious history, Dr. Brekus's research has focused largely, but not exclusively, on women in emerging evangelical movements from the seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. Her other interests include how religious beliefs and conflicts have shaped American understandings of public and private life, and how American culture has influenced popular understandings of religion. She has taught more than 20 different courses including ones on American Catholicism, slavery and race, the Enlightenment and children and religion.

Dr. Brekus's book Sarah Osborn's World is available for borrowing to members of the Congregational Library and Archives.

Wednesday, January 14th (snow date January 21st)
noon - 1:00 pm

Register through SurveyMonkey.