The Enigma of Ben Franklin’s Faith

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Benjamin Franklin tells us in his Autobiography that he became a “deist” as a young man. Yet at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Franklin proposed that delegates open sessions with prayer.

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 and his deep familiarity with the Bible.

Monday, February 18, 2019
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Colorado Christian University
Leprino Hall 170
8787 W. Alameda Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80226


Thomas Kidd, Ph.D.

Thomas Kidd is the Associate Director of ISR, and James Vardaman Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University. His books include Benjamin Franklin:The Religious Life of a Founding Father  (Yale University Press, 2017), American Colonial History: Clashing Cultures and Faiths (Yale University Press, 2016), Baptists in America: A History (with Barry Hankins, Oxford University Press, 2015), 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), American Christians and Islam (Princeton University Press, 2008), and The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America(Yale University Press, 2007). He has written for outlets including the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. Kidd blogs at “Evangelical History,” at The Gospel Coalition website.

Kidd teaches courses on colonial America, the American Revolution, and American religious history. He won a 2006-07 NEH Fellowship, and won a 2004 NEH Summer Stipend. Kidd came to Baylor University in 2002 after completing a Ph.D. in history at the University of Notre Dame, where he worked with the historian of religion George Marsden. He received a B.A. and M.A. at Clemson University. He and his wife Ruby have two sons, Jonathan and Joshua.