Lycoming College will host Dr. David L. Holmes, author and professor of religious studies emeritus at the College of William and Mary, for a free public lecture, titled "God and the White House: Religion and the Presidency in American History," on AT 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Mary Lindsay Welch Honors Hall.
Holmes will discuss the program, "The Faiths of the Postwar Presidents." During his two-day visit to Lycoming, Holmes also plans to speak at a variety of courses in history, political science and religion.
Holmes is the author of "The Faiths of the Founding Fathers," an acclaimed look at the spiritual beliefs of the 12 presidents who have served since the end of World War II.
Holmes examines not only the beliefs professed by each president but also the variety of possible influences on their religious faith, such as their upbringing, education, and the faith of their spouse.
In each profile close observers such as clergy, family members, friends and advisers recall churchgoing habits, notable displays of faith (or lack of it), and the influence of their faiths on policies concerning abortion, the death penalty, Israel and other controversial issues.
Whether discussing John F. Kennedy's philandering and secularity or Richard Nixon's betrayal of Billy Graham's naive trust during Watergate, Holmes includes telling and often colorful details not widely known or long forgotten.
Holmes is a Walter G. Mason professor of religious studies emeritus at the College of William and Mary. His books include the "The Faiths of the Founding Fathers," "A Brief History of the Episcopal Church," "A Nation Mourns" and "The Life of the Rev. Devereux Jarratt."