God in Books meets Sunday mornings 9:45 – 10:45 am in Room 303. This fall the class is reading The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell.
American historian Sarah Vowell (voice of Violet Parr in The Incredibles and a regular on NPR’s This American Life radio podcast) explores our Baptist roots via the Puritans and Roger Williams. In exploring the Puritans, considered “the philosophical, spiritual, and moral ancestors of our nation,” she discovered they were complex and fascinating. Tragically, they assumed they could “will” themselves and others into creating a perfect society Jesus would approve of and, as Vowell argues, set the stage for Indian massacres and centuries of bloodshed. She also takes up Williams who demanded religious tolerance and choice (even for American Indians) and, in so doing, stood down the Puritans. In addition, The Wordy Shipmates delves into America’s identity as a special and Christian “light on a hill”—our “American exceptionalism.” A real thought provoker!