Thomas Kidd on George Whitefield (New Directions)

October 29th, 2014 at 1:00 pm

George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, and the Eighteenth-Century Calvinist Network

Hinkson Hall | 1:00-2:30

October 29, 2014

Free & Open to the Public

George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards were, respectively, the greatest evangelist, and the greatest theologian, of the eighteenth century’s Great Awakening. Arguably the most significant meeting of the whole Awakening came in October 1740, when Whitefield visited the Edwards family in Northampton, Massachusetts. Yet as with John Wesley and other key evangelical leaders, Whitefield and Edwards’ relationship was strained by unresolved problems of doctrine and experience, especially the Holy Spirit’s work in the Awakening. This lecture will explore the ways that Whitefield and Edwards matured in their views of that subject: Edwards through theological reflection, and Whitefield through the hard lessons of his preaching ministry.


thomas-kiddThomas Kidd is professor of history at Baylor University and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Studies of Religion. His books include the recently published “George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father” (Yale University Press, 2014), “Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots” (Basic Books, 2011), “God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution” (Basic Books, 2010), “American Christians and Islam” (Princeton University Press, 2008), “The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America”, (Yale University Press, 2007). He writes for outlets including WORLD magazine, USA Today, and He won a 2006-07 NEH Fellowship, and won a 2004 NEH Summer Stipend. Kidd completed a Ph.D. in history at the University of Notre Dame, where he worked with the historian of religion George Marsden. He and his wife Ruby have two sons, Jonathan and Joshua.