Baylor’s Department of Religion Presents Lecture on Baptists and Religious FreedomMarch 20, 2015
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WACO, Texas (March 20, 2015) – Baylor University’s department of religion in the College of Arts & Sciences will welcome church historian Bill Leonard, Ph.D., to present a lecture at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, in Kayser Auditorium.
His lecture, titled “Sex, Class, and Religious Liberty: Daniel Featley vs. The Early Baptist,” will discuss the beliefs of Featley, an Anglican strongly opposed to the existence of early Baptists.
“Leonard will describe how Featley caricatured Baptists in the 1640s,” said Doug Weaver, Ph.D., professor of religion in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences and director of undergraduate studies in the department of religion. “Baptists were a religious minority who were not afforded religious liberty. He will discuss the ways in which Baptists advocated for religious liberty, going against Featley’s desires.”
Leonard is the James and Marilyn Dunn Professor of Baptist Studies and professor of church history at Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity. His research focuses particularly on American religion, Baptist studies and Appalachian religion. His most recent publication is titled “A Sense of the Heart: A History of Religious Experience in the United States.”
“The need for religious freedom is in the news every day now, and I think students are probably not aware of the Baptist heritage this school was built upon,” Weaver said. “Baptists have spoken very loudly for religious freedom.”
Leonard is an ordained Baptist minister and writes twice-monthly columns for Baptist News Global (formerly the Associated Baptist Press). He received his B.A. from Texas Wesleyan University, M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist University and Ph.D. from Boston University. He has held positions at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Samford University and Seinan gakuin University in Fukuoka, Japan.
The Baptist Studies Center for Research and Baylor department of religion are sponsoring the lecture, which is free and open to the public.
Kayser Auditorium is located inside Hankamer School of Business at 1428 S. Fifth St.
For more information about the department of religion, click here.
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