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Presentation #1 Title

George Bancroft's sermons through the lens of his doctoral studies in Germany

Presentation #1 Abstract

George Bancroft's sermons are virtually unknown, lost amongst his many more prominent activities and literary endeavours. This presentation aims to examine his sermons through the lens of his studies at the University of Goettingen.

Best known as a historian. George Bancroft (1800-1891) was also a politician and statesman (he served in London and Berlin as Minister Plenipotentiary). Appointed US Secretary of the Navy, he founded the US Naval Academy. In 1866 delivered a eulogy for President Lincoln having been selected by Congress to address both houses.

What is much less well known is that Bancroft, a Harvard graduate, who had worked toward his MA at the Harvard Divinity School, was awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Goettingen in Hanover. This serious studies he embarked on in Germany were foreseen as a way for him to prepare for the ministry and buttress his understanding of the Bible. The Georgia Augusta was one of the centers of the German Enlightenment and Bancroft's coursework included some of the most well-known scholars in Europe at the time, including the acclaimed Professor Eichhorn who produced studies in biblical criticism and Professor Planck, a well-known historian of Christianity. Bancroft would eventually complete his studies in and take his doctoral degree from Goettingen and then listen to university lectures at Heidelberg and Berlin.

When Bancroft returned to the United States, he because a tutor in Greek at Harvard and made a tentative start on his career as a minister as Boston's pulpits were open to him. He had promise as no less than Ralph Waldo Emerson called Bancroft one of the "rising stars on our horizon" after he had heard him preach. Bancroft would eventually co-found a school and then start on his political, scholarly, and diplomatic careers -- his sermons a faded memory. Yet, his sermons, unpublished, are not forgotten, and the aim of this paper is to examine those sermons in light of his training and studies in Germany.

At-A-Glance Bios- Presenter #1

Paul E. Kerry is an associate professor of history at Brigham Young University and a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford Centre for Theology and Modern European Thought. He researches in intellectual and religious history and the transatlantic transference of ideas.

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George Bancroft's sermons through the lens of his doctoral studies in Germany

George Bancroft's sermons are virtually unknown, lost amongst his many more prominent activities and literary endeavours. This presentation aims to examine his sermons through the lens of his studies at the University of Goettingen.

Best known as a historian. George Bancroft (1800-1891) was also a politician and statesman (he served in London and Berlin as Minister Plenipotentiary). Appointed US Secretary of the Navy, he founded the US Naval Academy. In 1866 delivered a eulogy for President Lincoln having been selected by Congress to address both houses.

What is much less well known is that Bancroft, a Harvard graduate, who had worked toward his MA at the Harvard Divinity School, was awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Goettingen in Hanover. This serious studies he embarked on in Germany were foreseen as a way for him to prepare for the ministry and buttress his understanding of the Bible. The Georgia Augusta was one of the centers of the German Enlightenment and Bancroft's coursework included some of the most well-known scholars in Europe at the time, including the acclaimed Professor Eichhorn who produced studies in biblical criticism and Professor Planck, a well-known historian of Christianity. Bancroft would eventually complete his studies in and take his doctoral degree from Goettingen and then listen to university lectures at Heidelberg and Berlin.

When Bancroft returned to the United States, he because a tutor in Greek at Harvard and made a tentative start on his career as a minister as Boston's pulpits were open to him. He had promise as no less than Ralph Waldo Emerson called Bancroft one of the "rising stars on our horizon" after he had heard him preach. Bancroft would eventually co-found a school and then start on his political, scholarly, and diplomatic careers -- his sermons a faded memory. Yet, his sermons, unpublished, are not forgotten, and the aim of this paper is to examine those sermons in light of his training and studies in Germany.