Religious Studies professor receives NEH grant

by Isaac Mei

Religious Studies professor receives NEH grant

The National Humanities Alliance recently announced the latest round of National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grants. One of the NEH grant recipients was John Turner, a professor in George Mason University’s Department of Religious Studies. Turner received the NEH’s Public Scholar Award, a grant that supports well-researched books in the humanities intended to reach a broad readership.

 Turner’s grant, specifically, will enable him to finish his book on the history of Plymouth Colony during the 2018-2019 academic year. “I haven’t settled on the book’s title yet,” Turner said. “but, it will be something along the lines of ‘Plymouth Colony and the Making of American Liberty’. The idea is to use the colony of Plymouth as a case study for the many different ideas about liberty in seventeenth-century New England. I want to explain how it was that the Pilgrims, who trumpeted “Christian liberty,” denied liberty of conscience to religious dissenters, men, women, and children. In a nutshell, early Americans found it no easier to agree about the meaning of liberty than do Americans living in the early twenty-first century.”

 This year, the National Endowment for the Humanities distributed $43.1 million in grants to support 219 humanities projects nationwide. The NEH strives to provide professional development opportunities for K-12 educators and college faculty. Grants can be used for construction and renovation projects, preservation and conservation of humanities collections, and sharing humanities collections between institutions. Additionally, these grants make an impact by supporting research, promoting civic education, and preserving cultural heritage.

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