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William and Mary professor to present A.J. Head Lecture in Humanities Oct. 1

SEPTEMBER 24, 2012
by Tina Underwood, Contributing Writer

David Holmes

GREENVILLE, S.C.—David L. Holmes, Walter G. Mason Professor of Religion Emeritus at College of William and Mary, will speak on the Furman University campus Monday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. in Johns Hall.

Holmes, the A.J. Head Lecturer in Humanities for 2012-2013, will speak about his book, The Faith of the Postwar Presidents: From Truman to Obama (University of Georgia Press, 2012). His talk is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the history and religion departments and Mere Christianity Forum. The talk is part of Furman’s Cultural Life Program.

In Faith of the Postwar Presidents, 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 advisors 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.

Having taught 46 years at William and Mary, Holmes has earned distinction as a scholar of American religious history, architecture and worship, muscular Christianity, and World War II. He has contributed to dozens of volumes, and has authored five books, among them, A Brief History of the Episcopal Church (Trinity Press International, 1993) and The Faiths of the Founding Fathers (Oxford University Press, 2006).

A founding member of the Religious Studies Department, Holmes has been honored with the Outstanding Faculty Award of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Thomas A. Graves Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching, and the Thomas Jefferson Award, William and Mary’s highest honor for teaching and faculty service. Holmes holds a bachelor’s from Michigan State, a master’s from Columbia, and master’s and doctorate degrees from Princeton University.

For more information about the event, contact David Rutledge in the Department of Religion at 864-294-3296, or

Last updated February 17, 2016
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