May 14, 2018 Library to Host Public Symposium on the Bible in American History, June 7

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Scholars who study the impact of Biblical text on public life in the United States will discuss their research in a symposium titled “The Bible in American History”on Thursday, June 7,at the Library of Congress.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 3 p.m. – 5p.m. in room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Tickets are not needed.

The program is part of the annual meeting of the Library of Congress’ Scholars Council. The council is comprised of distinguished scholars, convened by the Librarian of Congress to advise on matters related to scholarship at the Library, with emphasis on the John W. Kluge Center and the John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity.

Featured scholars for the symposium will be:

  • Mark Noll, Scholars Council member, Francis A. McAnaney professor of history at the University of Notre Dame and author of “In the Beginning Was the Word: The Bible in American Public Life, 1492-1783” (Oxford UP, 2015).
  • Valerie Cooper, associate professor of religion and society and black church studies at Duke Divinity School and author of “Word, Like Fire: Maria Stewart, the Bible, and the Rights of African Americans”(UVA Press, 2011).
  • Paul Gutjahr, Ruth Halls professor of English, Indiana University, editor of the “Oxford Handbook of the Bible in America” (Oxford University Press, 2017).
  • Lincoln Mullen, assistant professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University, currently writing “America’s Public Bible: Biblical Quotations in U.S. Newspapers” (Stanford University Press, forthcoming).

Cooper, Gutjahr, Mullen and Noll will examine the Bible’s influence on early American thinkers such as Thomas Paine, 19th-century African-American women, English translations of the textand writers using scriptural quotations in newspaper articles.

As part of their discussion, the scholars will also highlight resources found in the online archives of the Library of Congress, such as the Chronicling America newspaper collection.  

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress exists to help address the challenges facing democracies in the 21stcentury by bridging the gap between scholarship and policymakers. It does this by hosting top thinkers from around the world to conduct research in the Library’s vast collections and engage with national leaders. For more information about the Kluge Center, visit

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PR 18-068
ISSN 0731-3527