Spencer McBride - Salt Lake City

Spencer McBride

Spencer McBride

Oct 25, 2018, 6:30 pm


Spencer McBride

Book Title

Pulpit and Nation


Salt Lake City

Wasatch Front Region


Weller Book Works
607 Trolley Sq
Salt Lake City , UT 84102-2827
Map [+]


Books & Bridges and Weller Book Works welcome historian Spencer McBride on October 25th. McBride will discuss "The Myth of the Christian President" and what the role of religion in politics should be, based upon the Constitution.

In his presentation, “The Myth of the Christian President,” Spencer W. McBride describes the history of an expectation embraced by millions of twenty-first century American, namely that the president of the United States must be a Christian. The Constitution explicitly directs that there should be no religious test for federal office holding. So, from where did this extraconstitutional expectation arise? McBride uncovers the origins of this political belief in the partisan battles of the election of 1800 between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and demonstrates how the belief has evolved over the ensuing centuries.

Spencer W. McBride earned a Ph.D. in history at Louisiana State University. He is a historian and documentary editor at The Joseph Smith Papers and the author of Pulpit and Nation: Clergymen and the Politics of Revolutionary America. A specialist in the history of the American Revolution and the early American republic, McBride frequently writes and speaks on the evolving role of religion in American political culture. He is currently writing a book about Joseph Smith's ill-fated presidential campaign on 1844 (under contract with Oxford University Press).

Books & Bridges is a community institute of ideas and conversation. Our mission is to facilitate discussion on the best of human thought. We explore the wisdoms of the world and apply them to modern life. We have no political, religious or ideological affiliation. In a society divided by uncivil discourse, the beauty of the humanities—novels, history, philosophy, poetry, ethics and epics—lifts us to our better angels. In our busy world we need space for friends and fellow learners to do a little more heart-to-heart and mind-to-mind.

This event is made possible with support from Books & Bridges, Weller Book Works, and Utah Humanities.