Kresta in the Afternoon – July 24, 2017 – Hour 1

+  The Religious Life of Benjamin Franklin (full hour)

  • Description: Ben Franklin is remembered for many things. He was a Founding Father, he created Poor Richard's Almanac and he’s probably best known for flying a kite during a thunderstorm. But many don't realize he was also a many of faith and published more works on religious topics than any 18th-century layperson. He abandoned his exclusive Christian faith as a teenager, but was much more complex than just a deist. Thomas Kidd joins us with a look at the mystery of his faith.
  • Segment Guests:
    • Thomas Kidd
      Thomas S. Kidd is distinguished professor of history and associate director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. He lives in Waco, TX.
  • + Resources Mentioned Available in Our Store:

    • Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father

      A major new biography, illuminating the great mystery of Benjamin Franklin’s faith Renowned as a printer, scientist, and diplomat, Benjamin Franklin also published more works on religious topics than any other eighteenth-century American layperson. Born to Boston Puritans, by his teenage years Franklin had abandoned the exclusive Christian faith of his family and embraced deism. But Franklin, as a man of faith, was far more complex than the “thorough deist” who emerges in his autobiography. As Thomas Kidd reveals, deist writers influenced Franklin’s beliefs, to be sure, but devout Christians in his life—including George Whitefield, the era’s greatest evangelical preacher; his parents; and his beloved sister Jane—kept him tethered to the Calvinist creed of his Puritan upbringing. Based on rigorous research into Franklin’s voluminous correspondence, essays, and almanacs, this fresh assessment of a well-known figure unpacks the contradictions and conundrums faith presented in Franklin’s life. (learn more)

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