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7th Annual Holt Lecture: Protestantism, American Religion and the Unanticipated Reformation

On the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, American religion historian Jon Butler will discuss Protestantism's powerful and often misunderstood role in American history in the Department of History's seventh annual Senator Rush D. Holt Lecture. 

From its 16th century beginnings in Germany to the present, Protestantism has fostered frequently contradictory poles of individualism and collectivism, anti-authoritarianism and subservience, and reform and repression, all of which have played critical roles in the promotion of religious liberty and its denial throughout American history, especially when linked to divisions over American culture, values and politics. 

Given the historic importance of Protestantism in America, how we understand these contradictory forces plays a central role in understanding and healing America's 21st century cultural, political and religious divides.

Jon Butler
About the speaker: Jon Butler 
Jon Butler is the Howard R. Lamar Professor Emeritus of American Studies, History and Religious Studies at Yale University, where he taught for 27 years, and an adjunct research professor of history at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He earned a B.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and served as president of the Organization of American Historians in 2015-16. His books include “Power, Authority, and the Origins of American Denominational Order,” “The Huguenots in America: A Refugee People in New World Society,” “Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People,” “Becoming America: The Revolution Before 1776” and “Religion in American Life: A Short History.”