Sunday, February 8 at 4:00 pm

Sunday Speaker Series: John Demos, Author of The Heathen School

Demos-Heathen SchoolPlease join us on Sunday, February 8, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (29 Main Street, Stockbridge) for a talk and book signing with John Demos, a 2014 National Book Award finalist for his book The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic.

The Heathen School is the astonishing story of a unique missionary project in nearby Cornwall, CT—and the America it embodied.

Near the start of the nineteenth century, as the newly established United States looked outward toward the wider world, a group of eminent Protestant ministers formed a grand scheme for gathering the rest of mankind into the redemptive fold of Christianity and “civilization.” Its core element was a special school for “heathen youth” drawn from all parts of the earth, including the Pacific Islands, China, India, and, increasingly, the native nations of North America. If all went well, graduates would return to join similar projects in their respective homelands. For some years, the school prospered, indeed became quite famous.  However, when two Cherokee students courted and married local women, public resolve—and fundamental ideals—were put to a severe test.

In The Heathen School, John Demos marshals his deep empathy and feel for the textures of history to tell a moving story of families and communities—and to probe the very roots of American identity.

Demos-JohnAbout the author: John Demos is the Samuel Knight Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University. His previous books includeThe Unredeemed Captive, which won the Francis Parkman Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Entertaining Satan, which won the Bancroft Prize. He lives in Tyringham, MA.

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