Paul Marshall Lecture at #Baylor Sept. 19 | "Blasphemy and Other Threats to Freedom of Religion and Speech" https://t.co/8wHFGeeqDF
Incorporating Religion into the U.S. History Survey https://t.co/iu3cHdi0b4 @AndreaLTurpin @USReligionBlog
ISR Interview: A Godly Sociology of Religion - Rodney Stark https://t.co/BCTWPqQB5J
How To Survive Graduate School https://t.co/YIQK9gjt47 Thomas Kidd @TGC
Becoming a More Sensible Evidentialist about Jesus - Stephen Wykstra lecture Aug. 22 https://t.co/Ofq9GfxUwK
Rescuing Syriac Manuscripts in Iraq - The ASOR Blog https://t.co/wHcMzptt7d
The Fence: Mainline Protestants and Immigration Sixty Years Ago https://t.co/QlBENynzYv @USReligionBlog @nickphistory
Crucible of Faith https://t.co/nk532jB1L6 Philip Jenkins on his new book @anxious_bench @BasicBooks
Paul Froese on Meaning and Purpose - ISR ReligionWatch https://t.co/HywQz3LQcg
Baylor Launches Center for Christian Philosophy | @Baylor University https://t.co/aRXOb93cuT via @baylorumedia

ISR’s Thomas Kidd, Booklist Online Review of new book– Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father

booklistonlineBenjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father. 
Kidd, Thomas S. (author).
May 2017. 288p. illus. Yale, hardcover, $32.50 (9780300217490). 973.3.ben-franklin
REVIEW. First published May 1, 2017 (Booklist).
 
Debating the Founding Fathers’ faith is a sturdy American indoor sport. So a biography of the most celebrated Founder oriented around his religious opinions should fly off library shelves. And Kidd proffers a very fine book about America’s first international celebrity. Drawing on Franklin’s many pamphlets and newspaper essays on religion, his correspondence with his most religious close friends—his sister Jane Mecom and the spearhead of the Great Awakening, evangelist George Whitefield—and the remarks of other acquaintances, Kidd argues that Franklin was, from very early on, a deist who believed in benevolent divine Providence. He disliked doctrine, especially the Calvinist predestination in which he was raised, preferring the Christian morality of good works. Having first read the Bible in toto by age five, he had its words at the tip of his tongue; his writing and speech teem with biblical citation and allusion. When he disputed with doctrinaire Christians, he used reason, never deprecation. Of humble heritage, he avoided mounting his high horse. He pioneered “a distinctly American kind of religion,” Kidd says, a “doctrineless, moralized Christianity,” in which “virtually all beliefs became nonessential” and God calls all to do good. Consider this lucid, economical, nonacademic work of scholarship a new cornerstone of Franklin studies.— Ray Olson