Speakers BureauTalks and Living History Presentations for Your Community
First Impressions: 19th Century New Englanders and the Origins of American Perceptions of Islam
In 1819, Middlebury College graduates Pliny Fisk and Levi Parsons set out to the Middle East to serve as Christian missionaries in the Islamic world, having had no documented contact with Muslims, but having read a lot about Islam. Their worldview was profoundly changed by their experiences.
Using their writings and the letters from other Vermont missionaries and their wives, Philip Crossman will examine the early 19th century origins of Americans’ views of Islam and their impact on our perceptions today. What can these historical examples tell us about our own impressions of countless peoples whom we only know second or third hand?
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