Author to Discuss Faith of a Founding Father in Philadelphia

Baylor University Professor Dr. Thomas Kidd to hold lecture on "The Enigma of Benjamin Franklin’s Faith".

The Faith & Liberty Discovery Center, Independence National Historical Park, and the Friends of Independence National Historical Park

Cordially invite you to the free lecture

“The Enigma of Benjamin Franklin’s Faith”


Dr. Thomas S. Kidd, renowned author and distinguished professor of history at Baylor University

with responses by

Dr. Page Talbott, senior fellow, Center for Cultural Partnerships, Drexel University


Dr. Randall M. Miller, history professor, St. Joseph’s University

One of the most remarkable moments of the Constitutional Convention came during debates as polarizing as the ones today. It happened when 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin proposed to the delegates an unusual practice that received little support: To open sessions with prayer. What made Franklin’s request so surprising? A self-described deist was insisting that delegates should ask God for wisdom. Franklin’s motion was tabled, but today, the issue still lingers. In this lecture, Dr. Thomas S. Kidd will explore the enigma of Franklin’s faith, and the tension between Franklin’s well-known skepticism and the enduring influence of his Puritan upbringing with the Bible.

Dr. Thomas S. Kidd is the author of Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father (Yale University Press, 2017) and an Advisory Scholar of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center, coming to Independence Mall in Philadelphia. Dr. Kidd is a distinguished professor of history at Baylor University, associate director of Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion, and he has written for outlets such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He has won the prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, and his other books include: American Colonial History: Clashing Cultures and Faiths(Yale University Press, 2016), George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father (Yale University Press, 2014), Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots (Basic Books, 2011), God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution (Basic Books, 2010), and The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America (Yale University Press, 2007).

Dr. Talbott served as president of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and associate director of the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, an international traveling exhibition.

Dr. Miller has written and edited numerous books, articles and essays on topics such as colonial life and the American Revolution.

Date: Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017
Time: 6 p.m. (Doors will open for seating at 5:30 pm)
Location: Liberty View Ballroom, Independence Visitor Center, Independence Mall.
6th and Market Streets
Please RSVP to:
Light refreshments will be served.

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