IN PERSON: In the 21st century, "evangelical" and “evangelicalism” have become practically synonymous with right-wing white politics. That common current usage, though, overshadows a broad range of Christian beliefs and practices, as well as the historical role evangelicals played in humane and progressive causes, such as prison reform, abolition and the separation of church and state. This course considers what evangelicalism is, how it developed through the 18th- and 19th-century Great Awakenings and how it influenced and was influenced by secular forces in a developing nation. Along the way, we will cover various evangelical manifestations such as Pentecostalism, the Holiness movement, millenarian thought and, yes, snake handling; some seminal figures in evangelicalism such as John and Charles Wesley, Harriet Livermore, Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell; and perspectives on how some Americans’ faith has become intertwined with a particular brand of politics. | Lecture + Q&A.
Max enrollment: 30.
Location: Judea Reform Congregation, 1933 W. Cornwallis Rd, Durham NC 27705
Southern born and bred, Jim Wise wrote his master's thesis on millenarian churches in western North Carolina. He is a retired reporter, editor, and columnist with Durham newspapers and has taught OLLI courses on regional culture since 1999. Wise is the author of several books of local lore including "On Sherman's Trail: The Civil War's North Carolina Climax" and "Durham Tales."