Wednesday, June 2, 2021
With financial support from the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ International Keynote Speakers Support Fund
It is often observed that the United States is shaped by Christianity more than any other western nation. In exploring the relics of Thomas Paine, positivist rituals, secular funerals, humanist churches, and ethical societies, award winning historian, Dr. Leigh Eric Schmidt, shares with us from his most recent research to tell us of another long running influence in American religious history: Secularism. As the author of Village Atheists: How America's Unbelievers Made Their Way in a Godly Nation (Princeton, 2016), and earlier works on American mysticism, holiday consumerism, sensory religion, and rights activist and sexologist Ida Craddock, Leigh Schmidt turns his attention to how secularists imagined religion’s humanistic future even as they disclaimed its fetishistic past.
- Dr. Leigh Eric Schmidt, Edward C. Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor, Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis