2:00 p.m. Sunday, February 19, 2017
Program to focus on ‘authentic’ Benjamin Franklin

The Betty Strong Encounter Center will present Dr. Scott Culpepper’s “Benjamin Franklin: America’s Enlightened Founder” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. Admission will be free; a reception will follow.

In his illustrated presentation, the Dordt College history professor will focus on the authentic Benjamin Franklin and his pivotal role in shaping our republic.

 “Benjamin Franklin served as the venerable sage of colonial and revolutionary America. He was a veritable Renaissance man living in the age of Enlightenment,” Culpepper says.

Franklin’s influence was felt in a diverse array of areas, including scientific inquiry, diplomacy, publishing, political theory, technological innovation, and philosophy. At the same time, Franklin earned the reputation of being the most approachable of American founders because of his stark humanity, Culpepper says.

 “The dispenser of trite maxims on frugality did not always manage his resources well nor does his chronic absenteeism as a husband fit the iconic image of self-discipline embedded in historical memory,” Culpepper says.

Culpepper’s teaching and research interests are the Atlantic world and American history, with particular emphasis on the intersection of faith, politics and popular culture. He is the author of “Francis Johnson and the English Separatist Influence: The Bishop of Brownism’s Life, Ministry, and Controversies” (Mercer University Press, 2011).