Thomas S. Kidd, Ph.D. - Baylor University . Waco, TX, US

Thomas S. Kidd, Ph.D. Thomas S. Kidd, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of History | Baylor University

Waco, TX, US

Dr. Kidd is Associate Director of Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion and Co-Director of the Program on Historical Studies of Religion.

Baylor Expert on Founding Fathers Discusses Ben Franklin's Faith in New Book

Baylor Expert on Founding Fathers Discusses Ben Franklin's Faith in New Book 2017-06-27
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Thomas S. Kidd, Ph.D.

What the Founding Fathers believed about God and religion has long been a subject of debate and fascination, and Benjamin Franklin’s beliefs in particular may have the widest variety of interpretations among his peers.

As multi-faceted as Franklin’s life was — he was a printer, diplomat, scientist and more — his religious beliefs were perhaps even more complex. From his Puritan upbringing to deism, skepticism and more, Thomas Kidd, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University and Associate Director of the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion, explores the influences and evolution of faith throughout Franklin’s life in the new book: "Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father."

In a column for The Wall Street Journal, Kidd wrote of Franklin:

"In today’s polarized political and religious environment, some pundits seek to remake the Founding Fathers in their own image. Benjamin Franklin’s example reveals that the historical truth is often more complicated."


Benjamin Franklin’s Complicated Faith

Then came the Revolutionary War. Its weight, along with the shock of victory and independence, made Franklin think that God, in some mysterious way, must be moving in American history. “The longer I live,” he told the delegates in Philadelphia, “the more convincing Proofs I see of this Truth, That God governs in the affairs of men.”