He graduated from Harvard University, and from Yale University with a Ph.D. He is well known for introducing Lived religion to religious studies scholarship in the United States, most notably at Harvard Divinity School.
A Religious History of the American People (1st edition 1972, 2nd edition 2004) is a book by Sydney E. Ahlstrom and published by Yale University Press. The first edition was 1158 pages in length, the second 1192. The book has been widely reviewed and well-received, including positive mentions in both Christianity Today and Christian Century. The book has been noted for its readability, accuracy, and importance.Alse Young
Alse Young (ca. 1600 – 26 May 1647) of Windsor, Connecticut — sometimes Achsah Young or Alice Young — was the first recorded instance of execution for witchcraft in the thirteen American colonies.American Legion
The American Legion is a U.S. war veterans organization headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is made up of state, U.S. territory, and overseas departments, and these are in turn made up of local posts. The legislative body of The American Legion is a national convention, held annually. The organization was founded on March 15, 1919, at the American Club near Place de la Concorde in Paris, France, by members of the American Expeditionary Forces, and it was chartered on September 16, 1919, by the U.S. Congress.The organization played the leading role in drafting and passing of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, otherwise known as the "GI Bill." In addition to organizing commemorative events, members provide assistance at VA hospitals and clinics. It is active in issue-oriented U.S. politics. Its primary political activity is lobbying on behalf of interests of veterans and service members, including support for benefits such as pensions and the Veterans Health Administration. The organization has also historically promoted "Americanism."Cotton Mather
Cotton Mather (February 12, 1663 – February 13, 1728; A.B. 1678, Harvard College; A.M. 1681, honorary doctorate 1710, University of Glasgow) was a socially and politically influential New England Puritan minister, prolific author, and pamphleteer. He left a scientific legacy due to his hybridization experiments and his promotion of inoculation for disease prevention, though he is most frequently remembered today for his involvement in the Salem witch trials. He was subsequently denied the presidency of Harvard College which his father, Increase Mather, had held.Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife
The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife is an annual series of conferences and publications that explores everyday life, culture, work and traditions in New England's past. Since 1976, the seminar has hosted almost 750 scholarly presentations at its annual meeting and published nearly 400 articles in its annual Proceedings, including work by leading historians like Kevin M. Sweeney, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Jane Nylander and Abbott Lowell Cummings.First hosted by the Dublin School in Dublin, New Hampshire, on June 19 and 20, 1976, the Dublin Seminar is an annual gathering of avocational and professional scholars (academics, curators, librarians and others) as well as students and enthusiasts who convene each year around a topic in the history and material culture of New England. It was established when Peter Benes, then a graduate student in Boston University’s American & New England Studies Program, organized a gathering of scholars interested in early New England gravestones; initially planned for about forty participants, by the time the seminar occurred some 116 scholars, curators, preservationists and enthusiasts had assembled to hear nineteen lectures. Participants in this event went on to form the Association for Gravestone Studies. Plans were made to convene the following year as well, around the topic of New England archaeology. The seminar began meeting regularly in Deerfield, Massachusetts, in 1989.The first Proceedings, Puritan Gravestone Art, edited by Peter Benes, was published jointly by Boston University and The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife, in 1977, and included landmark articles like David D. Hall, "The Gravestone Image as a Puritan Cultural Code." Jane Montague Benes began serving as associate editor of the Seminar's annual proceedings by the seminar's second year. The Dublin Seminar proceedings were associated with Boston University until Historic Deerfield became its partner and co-sponsor in 2008.In 2011, Dublin Seminar founders Peter and Jane Montague Benes received the Bay State Legacy Award for their contribution to scholarship. In 2014, they were recognized with a Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History.Free grace theology
Free grace theology is a Christian soteriological view teaching that everyone receives eternal life the moment that they believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. "Lord" refers to the belief that Jesus is the Son of God and therefore able to be their "Savior". The view distinguishes between (1) the "call to believe" in Christ as Savior and to receive the gift of eternal life and (2) the "call to follow" Christ and become obedient disciples.History of the Book in America
A History of the Book in America is a five-volume series of scholarly books of essays published 2000–2010 by the University of North Carolina Press, and edited by David D. Hall. Topics include printing, publishing, book selling, reading, and other aspects of print culture in colonial America and the United States. Among the contributing writers: Hugh Amory, Georgia B. Barnhill, Paul S. Boyer, Richard D. Brown, Scott E. Casper, Charles E. Clark, James P. Danky, Ann Fabian, James N. Green, Robert A. Gross, Jeffrey D. Groves, David D. Hall, Mary Kelley, E. Jennifer Monaghan, Janice Radway, James Raven, Elizabeth Carroll Reilly, Joan Shelley Rubin, Michael Schudson, David S. Shields, Wayne A. Wiegand, Michael Winship.
The five volumes in A History of the Book in America offer a sweeping chronicle of our country's print production and culture from colonial times to the end of the twentieth century. This interdisciplinary, collaborative work of scholarship examines the book trades as they have developed and spread throughout the United States; provides a history of U.S. literary cultures; investigates the practice of reading and, more broadly, the uses of literacy; and links literary culture with larger themes in American history.Letter from Cotton Mather to William Stoughton, September 2, 1692
In a letter dated September 2, 1692, Cotton Mather wrote to judge William Stoughton. Among the notable things about this letter is the provenance: it seems to be the last important correspondence from Mather to surface in modern times, with the holograph manuscript not arriving in the archives for scholars to view, and authenticate, until sometime between 1978 and 1985.Lived religion
Lived religion is the ethnographic and holistic framework for understanding the beliefs, practices, and everyday experiences of religious and spiritual persons in religious studies. The name lived religion comes from the French tradition of sociology of religion "la religion vécue."The concept of lived religion was popularized in the late 20th century by religious study scholars like Robert A. Orsi and David D. Hall. The study of lived religion has come to include a wide range of subject areas as a means of exploring and emphasizing what a religious person does and what they believe. Today, the field of lived religion is expanding to include many topics and scholars.Massachusetts Historical Society
The Massachusetts Historical Society is a major historical archive specializing in early American, Massachusetts, and New England history. It is located at 1154 Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts and is the oldest historical society in the United States, having been established in 1791.
The Society's building was constructed in 1899 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. In 2016, The Boston Landmarks Commission designated it a Boston Landmark.Merle Curti Award
The Merle Curti Award is awarded annually by the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American social and/or American intellectual history. A committee of 5 members of the Organization of American Historians chooses the winners from published monographs submitted by the author(s). Committee members represent the entire spectrum of American history and serve a one-year term. Beginning with the awards of 2004, the Committee may select 1 book "winner" in American intellectual history, 1 book "winner" in American social history, and may list other "finalists" in each field. "Winners" split a $1000 cash award. Although not explicitly stated, "American" refers to the "United States of America" alone.Republic of Letters
The Republic of Letters (Respublica literaria) is the long-distance intellectual community in the late 17th and 18th centuries in Europe and the Americas. It fostered communication among the intellectuals of the Age of Enlightenment, or philosophes as they were called in France. The Republic of Letters emerged in the 17th century as a self-proclaimed community of scholars and literary figures that stretched across national boundaries but respected differences in language and culture. These communities that transcended national boundaries formed the basis of a metaphysical Republic. Because of societal constraints on women, the Republic of Letters consisted mostly of men. As such, many scholars use "Republic of Letters" and "men of letters" interchangeably.The circulation of handwritten letters was necessary for its function because it enabled intellectuals to correspond with each other from great distances. All citizens of the 17th-century Republic of Letters corresponded by letter, exchanged published papers and pamphlets, and considered it their duty to bring others into the Republic through the expansion of correspondence.The first known occurrence of the term in its Latin form (Respublica literaria) is in a letter by Francesco Barbaro to Poggio Bracciolini dated July 6, 1417; it was used increasingly in the 16th and 17th, so that by the end of that century it featured in the titles of several important journals. Currently, the consensus is that Pierre Bayle first translated the term in his journal Nouvelles de la République des Lettres in 1684. But there are some historians who disagree and some have gone so far as to say that its origin dates back to Plato's Republic. Part of the difficulty in determining its origin is that, unlike an academy or literary society, it existed only in the minds of its members.Historians are presently debating the importance of the Republic of Letters in influencing the Enlightenment. Today, most Anglo-American historians, whatever their point of entry to debate, occupy a common ground: the Republic of Letters and the Enlightenment were distinct.Thomas Smith (American painter)
Thomas Smith was a seventeenth-century American artist and mariner. He is best known for the self-portrait that he painted c. 1680, which (according to the portrait's owner, the Worcester Art Museum) is 'the only seventeenth-century New England portrait by an identified artist and the earliest extant American self-portrait'.