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As one of the few scholars to address the intersections of religious convictions and the construction of “race” in colonial New England, Richard A. Bailey, PhD, the Fitzpatrick Professor of History at Canisius College, was recently asked to contribute an essay in the The Gospel Coalition on how to approach Jonathan Edwards in light of the fact that the 18th century New England minister and a leader of the First Great Awakening (and the subject of a course that Professor Bailey offers regularly) was a proponent of race-based slavery and an enslaver of persons. 

While addressing that topic, he also turned to James Baldwin and Wendell Berry to discuss the discipline of history versus the dreams of “heritage” and hero-worship.

Professor Bailey’s essay can be found here.

Submitted by: Richard A. Bailey, professor, Department of History