How America Created a Christian Race - A Talk by Dr. Goetz
The Department of Humanities & Social Sciences presents
"How America Created a Christian Race"
A talk on the History of Religion in the United States of America.
Speaker: Dr. Rebecca A. Goetz, Assistant Professor of History at Rice University, USA
Date: Monday, July 9, 2012
Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Venue: A-6, LUMS
About the Speaker
Dr. Goetz received her PhD in 2006 from Harvard University, USA. A historian of early North America, she specialises in the history of religion and race in early Virginia, USA. She also has broad interests in the growing history of the Atlantic World, and the French and Spanish colonial experience in North America. She teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level on many aspects of early American history.
At the talk, she will discuss her upcoming book The Baptism of Early Virginia: How Christianity Created Race. In her work she seeks to place English Christianities at the centre of both the history of early America and the history of race. The seventeenth-century English understanding of human difference, she argues, was predicated not only upon physical characteristics but also on changing perceptions of the spiritual capacities of Indians and Africans - their souls. Historians usually overlook the role of religion in fashioning early American society, and consequently the history of race in the regions of Virginia and Maryland excludes religion as a factor in defining bodies and souls. She corrects this oversight by investigating the importance of the settlers’ broadly Christian culture in essentialising Indians and Africans.