J. Gordon Melton, Distinguished Professor of American Religious History, Baylor University
‘There’s Something Different about Texas religion: religious Diversity in the Lone Star State’
Timothy Matovina, Professor of Theology and the Executive Director of the Institute for Latino Studies, Notre Dame University
“Natives and Newcomers: Ethnic Mexican Religious Convergences in 1920s San Antonio”
October 10, 2013 – 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Congregation Agudath Jacob, 4925 Hillcrest Dr., Waco, TX
Blake Ellis, Associate Professor of History Lone Star College-CyFair
“Baptists and the Separation of Church and State, or Not?”
Marie W. Dallam, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies University of Oklahoma, Honors College “Corralling Faith: The Cowboy Church in Texas”
*Men are required to wear casual but respectful head coverings while in the building, so feel free to bring a hat (baseball, cowboy, etc.), or just use one of the small caps (Yamulke) that are always available and provided at the facility.
November 14, 2013 – 7:00 – 9:30 pm
The Palladium, 729 Austin Ave Waco, TX
Edward Robinson, Assistant Professor of Bible and History, Abilene Christian University
“The Fight is on in Texas: African Americans in the Church of Christ”
Michael Parrish, Linden G. Bowers Professor of American Church History, Baylor University “Slavery, Civil War, and Freedom: Texas Baptists in the Civil War Era, focusing on Baylor University and Waco University”
Religion played a key role in the revolution that brought an independent Texas republic into existence and in its wake a variety of churches–Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian–began to appear and the Roman Catholic Church found a new start. Slowly decade by decade, a Christian community reappeared and additional new denominations—Episcopalians, Lutherans, Eastern Orthodox, and Holiness—established their judicatories, while African Americans organized separate African Methodist and National Baptist churches.
As the Republic came into being, Jewish families founded the first synagogues, a vivid symbol of the diversity that would later appear in the form of Spiritualism, Swedenborgianism, and Christian Science. Through the twentieth century, the number of Christian denominations would grow into the hundreds, while members of almost all of the world’s religions began to open temples where believers meditate before statues of the Buddha, venerate ancient deities from India, and revere the world of the Sikh gurus. And in almost all of Texas cities, minarets now call Muslims to follow the dictates of Allah.
“Faith and Freedom in the Lone Star State,” a new program sponsored by Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion that will explore all the elements of Texas religious life, both those major streams of belief that have come to dominate the state’s spiritual environment, and the hundreds of smaller currents that have done so much to enliven it.