Religion in U.S., along canal topic of lecture Saturday

Published Dec 13, 2017 at 4:00pm

Brent Rodriguez-Plate will explore the religious life established by the Erie Canal, and the ways it influenced religiosity across the continent, and across the globe at a presentation at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Oneida County History Center, 1608 Genesee St., Utica. “The Erie Canal & the Birth of American Religion” will be conducted in the main gallery.

Within 25 years of its opening, the Erie Canal cultivated experimental spiritual groups including the Mormons, the Adventists, Spiritualism, a revived Apocalypticism, utopian communal societies such as the Oneida Community, with the Amana Colony and Shakers passing through, as well as the revivals of the Second Great Awakening, the Center noted.

“The Canal also engendered the religiously infused social movements of abolition, women’s suffrage, and temperance. And because of its key location and function as the link between East and West, the repercussions of canal-formed spiritual experiments rippled across the continent with westward expansion, creating unique currents of religion in the United States into the present day.”

Rodriguez-Plate’s teachings and writings explore relations between sensual life and spiritual life. He is a writer, editor, public speaker and visiting associate professor of religious studies at Hamilton College. He has authored or edited 15 books, and his writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Christian Century, The Islamic Monthly, America, Los Angeles Review of Books an Religion Dispatches.

Admission to this program is free, donations are encouraged.

For more informaiton call 315-735-3642, on Facebook and onlline www.oneidacountyhistory.org.