Beginning on Monday, February 1st at 7 pm, GPC will begin a six week study, A Separation of Church and State?, of the Christian church’s role in the founding of the United States and its impact on the nation in its first century of existence. We will explore the faith of the colonies and the desire for separation, but we will also explore the churches in the expansion of the country, the development of evangelical Protestantism, the role of the church and slavery and the antecedents to the rise of white nationalist Christianity.
Much has been written about the early church and the development of the idea of the separation of church and state, but what was the impetus for this separation? What were the dominant faith traditions of the colonies and the early nation? How did the growth of the evangelical movement (the rise of modern Protestantism, not the contemporary conservative religious movement) coincide with the growth of the nation? What was the Christian justification of slavery in the nation? Following the Civil War, what was the theology that gave rise to such movements as the Ku Klux Klan and other white nationalist movements?
These are just some of the many topics that we will explore during this study. All are welcomed!