Abram C. Van Engen, associate professor of English in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, organized a national conference on “Religion and Politics in Early America.” Sponsored by the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics and the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, the conference took place March 1-4 in St. Louis. More than 200 scholars representing history, literary studies, political science, law, religious studies and other areas attended.
Events included a roundtable discussion with four Danforth Center scholars: Marie Griffith, Laurie Maffly-Kipp, Leigh Schmidt and Mark Valeri. Leading panels were Valeri as well as postdoctoral research associates Christine Croxall and Dana Logan, and Alexandre Dubé, assistant professor of history in Arts & Sciences.
Other university participants included Stephanie Kirk, of Arts & Sciences, who organized a series of panels exploring global and colonial intersections of religion and politics, and Hannah Wakefield, a doctoral candidate in English. The Eighteenth-Century Interdisciplinary Salon hosted a talk by Jonathan Sheehan of University of California, Berkeley. David Hall of Harvard Divinity School presented a talk for the Religious Studies Program in Arts & Sciences.
In conjunction with the conference, Van Engen wrote on the Center for the Humanities website about four historic paintings on display in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.