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2019 Chautauqua Season

Adam Jortner • Interfaith Lecture Series

Jul 25, 2019 2:00pm ‐ Jul 25, 2019 3:15pm



Adam Jortner, author, Blood
from the Sky:A Political History
of American Miracles

Adam Jortner, Goodwin-Philpott Professor of History at Auburn University, is a specialist in the early American republic, with particular emphasis on religion and politics. In 2019, he will complete a series of lectures for Audible, entitled God and the Founding Fathers. This series of twelve lectures on the religions of Ben Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and others addresses longstanding myths and realities about faith and the American founding.

His first book, The Gods of Prophetstown (Oxford, 2012), chronicled the rise and fall of the Shawnee Prophet Tenskwatawa. Gods tells the history of a virtual Native American state within the boundaries of territorial Indiana—a state complete with a border, a capital, and a national religion. The story of this forgotten place and religion formed the backdrop and central story of the otherwise-incomprehensible War of 1812. Gods won the 2013 James Broussard Prize from the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic for the best first book on U.S. History.

His second blood, Blood from the Sky: A Political History of American Miracles (Virginia, 2017), provided a history of the theology of miracles and their political use in America. Blood from the Sky was based on over ten years’ research and includes significant revisions of the standard histories of Shakers, Native American prophets, and Mormons. Choice Reviews declared that “by vividly illustrating the breadth and significance of the miraculous for Americans, Jortner makes a welcome and valuable contribution to the history of the country’s formative period.” Adam is a frequent contributor to NPR’s BackStory and a former member of the script team on PBS’s Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?


(Note: This biography was up-to-date as of the date of the lecture. Biographies are not updated over time.)

Banner photo by SARAH YENESEL

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