Scholar and New York Times Columnist to Speak on 'Charisma In American History'

Molly Worthen
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Molly Worthen

Professor Molly Worthen of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will deliver a talk titled "Charisma in American History, from the Puritans to Trump" on Friday, Oct. 6, at 3 p.m. in the Honors College Lounge in Gearhart Hall. All are welcome to attend the talk, which is free and open to the public.

Worthen's research focuses on North American religious and intellectual history, particularly the ideas of culture and conservative Christianity. She is the author of Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism, published by Oxford University Press.

In addition, Worthen is a regular contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, writing about religion and politics for that publication as well as for Slate, the Boston Globe and Foreign Policy.

"Charisma is an elusive idea," Worthen said about the title of her talk. "It began as an ancient religious concept but mutated into label to slap onto personal or political appeal that we don't quite know how to explain: the irresistible and dangerous allure that gives a leader the power to move a crowd."

Worthen's lecture is sponsored by the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of History, the Religious Studies Program, and the Brown Chair in English Literacy in the Department of English.


David Jolliffe, professor, Brown Chair in English Literacy
Department of English


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