Ways of Being: Evolving Religion & America at the Jamestown Settlement – May 31 & June 1

 Ways of Being: Evolving Religion & America at the Jamestown Settlement May 31 & June 1 • Jamestown Settlement

🌟 Join in the discussion and exploration at the “Ways of Being: Evolving Religion and America” Symposium! 🌟

Dive into the rich histories of Indigenous peoples, Africans, and Europeans as we explore their diverse religious experiences and cultural exchanges in early America. Discover how these interactions shaped the social, political, and economic landscapes we know today.

This symposium is a unique opportunity to engage with leading religion scholars, museum professionals, and our community. Together, uncover the enduring legacies of early American religious life and its lasting impact on modern society.

Advance online registration is required for this free symposium. Refreshments and meals provided. More Info


  • Tazeen Ali, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Harvey Bakari – Curator of Black History and Culture, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
  • Shelby Balik, Ph.D. – Professor of History, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Brandon Bayne, Ph.D. – Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Edward Bond, Ph.D. – Former Visiting Assistant Professor of Church History at the School of Theology, Sewanee: The University of the South
  • Christy S. Coleman – Executive Director, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
  • Rev. John Ericson – Education Coordinator, St. Luke’s Historic Church and Museum, Host of “History from the Old Brick Church” Podcast
  • Erika Gault, Ph.D. – Director of Center for the Study of African American Religious Life and the Lilly Endowment Curator of African American Religious History at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • Travis Harris, Ph.D. – Visiting Assistant Professor, Norfolk State University 
  • Travis Henline – Curator of Indigenous History and Culture, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
  • James Ingram Jr. – Historical Interpreter as Nation Builder Rev. Gowan Pamphlet, Colonial Williamsburg
  • Jamie Jacobs – Traditions Keeper, Tonawanda Seneca and Curator, Rochester Museum & Science Center 
  • Martha Katz-Hyman – Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
  • Pippa Koch, Ph.D. – Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Missouri State University
  • Rev. Carlon Lassiter – Pastor at Saint John Baptist Church
  • Mariruth Leftwich, Ph.D. – Senior Director of Museum Operations and Education, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
  • B.J. Pryor – Historical Interpreter, Owner of Benjamin Franklin LIVES
  • Shari Rabin, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies, Oberlin College
  • John Ragosta, Ph.D., JD – Historian, Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello
  • Lee Ann Rose – Historical Interpreter, Owner of Shades of Our Past
  • Alphonso F. Saville IV, Ph.D. – Princeton University Associate Research Scholar of The Crossroads Project
  • Dr. Bly Straube, FSA – Senior Curator Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
  • Lara Templin – Gallery Experience Manager, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation


5-6:30 p.m.Welcome Reception and Living- History Interpretations – James Ingram, B.J. Pryor and Lee Ann RoseRobert V. Hatcher, Jr. Rotunda & Great Hall and Living-History Areas
6:30-8:30 p.m.Plenary Session: Evolving Religion in America – Rev. John Ericson, Erika Gault, Rev. Carlon Lassiter, Mariruth Leftwich and Shari RabinRobins Foundation Theater
7:30-8:30 a.m.Breakfast BuffetGreat Hall
8:30-9:30 a.m.Morning Plenary: Ways of Being – Perspectives on Religion – Tazeen Ali, Shelby Balik, Brandon Bayne, Edward Bond, Travis Harris, Shari Rabin and Alphonso SevilleRobins Foundation Theater
9:45-10:30 a.m.Breakout Session 1
Handsome Lake and the Longhouse Religion – Jamie JacobsEducation Wing Classroom A
Church and State Legacy: A Separation of Salvation and Slavery – Harvey BakariEducation Wing Classroom C
Rebecca Taliaferro: an Anglican woman, wife, and mother during the American Revolution – Lara TemplinEducation Wing Classroom E
10:45-11:30 a.m.Breakout Session 2
Religion and Nature in the Atlantic World – Pippa KochEducation Wing Classroom A
Catholic Devotional Objects from 17th-Century Contexts at Jamestown – Bly StraubeEducation Wing Classroom C
Black Religious Thought in Early America – Alphonso SevilleEducation Wing Classroom E
11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.Lunch
1-1:45 p.m.Breakout Session 3
Missionaries, Martyrs, and Mourning: Making Meaning from Suffering in Early America – Brandon BayneEducation Wing Classroom A
“They Had the Bible, We Had the Land”: Indigenous Experiences with Missionaries – Travis HenlineEducation Wing Classroom C
Mr. Andrew’s Bands: Women’s Work and Religious Domesticity in the Early Republic – Shelby BalikEducation Wing Classroom E
2-2:45 p.m.Breakout Session 4
Religion Outside the Church Building – Edward BondEducation Wing Classroom A
Muslim Women’s Religious Authority in the Contemporary United States – Tazeen AliEducation Wing Classroom B
Imperial Protestantism in North America – John EricsonEducation Wing Classroom C
“…in our house we all live as Jews as much as we can”: Jews and Jewish life in Early Virginia – Martha Katz-HymanEducation Wing Classroom E
3-4:15 p.m.Closing Plenary: Religion and Public History – Christy S. Coleman, Erika Gault, James Ingram, B.J. Pryor, and John RagostaRobins Foundation Theater

The symposium is part of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation’s “Religion and Early America” program, supported by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. which seeks to expand the discussion of religion throughout exhibition galleries and interpretation in living-history areas at Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

Advance online registration is required for this free symposium. Refreshments and meals provided. More Info


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