In School of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Special Guests

Mark Hall at podium, speaking to students about his new bookOn Monday, April 1, Dr. Mark Hall met with students and community members to discuss the founding of the United States and its relation to Christianity. The evening lecture and Q&A examined Dr. Hall’s new book set to be released in October of 2019, Did America Have a Christian Founding?: Separating Modern Myth from Historical Truth.

The University graciously welcomed Dr. Mark Hall, George Fox University Herbert Hoover distinguished professor of politics and director of the John Dickinson Forum for the Study of America’s Founding Principles. Dr. Hall serves additionally as faculty fellow in the William Penn Honors Program at George Fox, associated faculty at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University, and senior fellow at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion.

The question of the founder’s faith has caused much conversation among historians, as it did with Monday’s attendees. Greg Schaller, president of The John Jay Institute and Cairn professor, remarked that the lecture led to great interaction between the approximately 30 attendees and Dr. Hall. “The audience enjoyed it a lot,” said Schaller. “They were very engaged and had several questions for him once the lecture was done.”

Schaller reported that Dr. Hall argues much of the debate concerning the faith of the founding fathers centers around inaccurate scholarship. “Dr. Hall rejects the notion that most of the founders were either Deists or non-believers,” Schaller explained. “In fact, his research shows that the overwhelming majority of those who participated in the Constitutional Convention were orthodox, creedal Christians.”

History-minded students and community members benefited from Dr. Mark Hall’s discussion as he engaged a long-held, and likely continual, debate on the relationship between faith and politics.

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