Show cover of History From the Old Brick Church

History From the Old Brick Church

Take a journey through history with a new podcast from St. Luke’s Historic Church & Museum, hosted by John Ericson. Join the conversation with scholars and historians to tackle subjects like race, women’s history, and constitutional law. Explore how the pursuit of religious freedom in colonial America has shaped our modern life. Tune into History from the Old Brick Church Podcast today! Podcast made possible by a grant from the Virginia Humanities Foundation.


The Pamphlet Wars
Today we often talk about the impact of social media on forming public opinion, its effect on elections, and how it fuels division. In 17th century England, the printing press and the proliferation of pamphlets were doing similar things. In this Episode, we speak with public historian and historic book binder, Hunter Willis, on the Pamphlet Wars. Hunter Willis is an amateur historian and has been researching and practicing the art of bookbinding for a decade. He has conducted extensive research and delivered historical lectures on various topics, including bookbinding, printing, and literary history. In addition to bookbinding, Hunter has over two decades of experience as a historical interpreter of 19th, 18th, and 17th century history. His full-time career is in cloud Product Marketing for IBM.
57:04 4/22/24
The Cromwell Dilemma
In this episode St Luke's Education Coordinator John Ericson interviews the Curator of The Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon UK, Stuart Orme. Cromwell is a figure steeped in a great deal of myth and clouded by his brutality towards the Irish. Is he a hero or a villain? Stuart Orme gives us a balance portrait of the most complicated figure of the 17th century.  
55:35 4/10/24
Born from Conflict: Travelog
In this episode St Luke's Education Coordinator John Ericson discusses the recent trip to the UK and the many great people who are empowering our documentary and other educational material.
46:42 3/23/24
The Bishop's Wars
 Our upcoming documentary, entitled "Born from Conflict: Cavaliers and Puritans of Newport Parish," is based on the 17th century conflicts in the United Kingdom and in the English Colonial Possessions in North America. Most notably we are focusing on the English Civil Wars, also known as the War of the Three Kingdoms. The spark was a religious conflict between King Charles I and the Scottish ":Kirk" (Church) over the imposition of the English Prayer Book in Scotland. This launched a riot in the streets of Edinburgh and eventually the "Bishop's Wars." St Luke's Historic Church & Museum's Education Coordinator John Ericson will offer a brief description of these conflicts on the eve of our trip to the UK beginning March 5. 
11:51 3/1/24
The English Reformation: A Series of Unintended Consequences
In this episode we interview Professor Alec Ryrie of Durham University in the UK on the topic of the English Reformation. England was the most diverse in its reforming efforts and the conflicts that arose in the 16th and 17th centuries would have enduring implications for Great Britain and for their Colonial possessions in North America.  Professor Ryrie helps us examine this tumultuous period and its influence on our Anglo-American history. Professor Ryrie has degrees from both Oxford and Cambridge Universities in History and Theology. The focus of his research is in the English Reformation and Protestantism  more widely. He is currently a Professor of the History of Christianity at Durham University, UK and has been a featured lecturer for the Gresham College Series. 
47:29 1/18/24
Stories From the Newport Parish: The Tumultuous Life and Times of Joseph Bridger
In this episode we discuss the life of Joseph Bridger the patron of the "Old Brick Church" and about the challenging decade of 1676-1686, a time of civil war in the Virginia Colony. How did these conflicts lead to the racist codes that would pour out of Jamestown and later Williamsburg? This period of our history is essential to understanding conflicts that continue to plague us almost 350 years later. 
15:26 11/2/23
Stories from the Newport Parish: Clergy, Tobacco and the Road to Revolution
In This Episode the host of History from the Old Brick Church, John Ericson, tells the story of a former Minister of the Newport Parish whose protest helped fan the flames of America's revolutionary spirit. This is the first in a series of stories that relate to the Newport Parish of the "Old Brick Church." John Ericson is the Education Coordinator at St Luke's Historic Church & Museum. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Roanoke College (1985) and a Masters of Divinity from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (1989). In addition to hosting this podcast, John lectures frequently and blogs about the early American religious experience. 
16:44 9/22/23
American Myths
In this episode, Education Coordinator, John Ericson interviews Dr. David Sehat of Georgia State University concerning some of the myths of America's founding, especially in regard to issues of religious freedom. Dr. David Sehat is a Professor of Cultural and Intellectual History for Georgia State University. He is the author of "The Myth of American Religious Freedom" and "The Jefferson rule; How the Founding Fathers became Infallible and our Politics Inflexible." 
53:23 9/22/23
Witches in Colonial Virginia
The 17th century featured dozens of trials for witchcraft. How was Colonial Virginia's experience different from what happened in Salem, Massachusetts? What was the role of the church and religion in connection to witchcraft trials? How does the phenomenon of witchcraft trials change from the 17th to the 18th centuries and beyond? In this episode we interview Dr. Carson O. Hudson, Jr, author of Witchcraft in Colonial Virginia about a topic that continues to fascinate us centuries later. Carson Hudson has been passionate about history since he was a young boy growing up in Virginia, surrounded by Civil War battlefields. He is a practicing military and social historian, author, Emmy Award-winning screenwriter and circus fire-eater. He lectures regularly at museums and colleges on a wide variety of subjects, but his particular interests are the Civil War and colonial witchcraft. He performs regularly as part of the old-time music duo Hudson & Clark and with the Cigar Box String Band.
49:44 6/29/23
Beyond Cromwell
In this podcast we explore the time period of the English Republic with Historian Anna Keay, author of the book "The Restless Republic: Britain without a Crown." This time period is often reduced to the time of Oliver Cromwell, but there are many other players and ordinary people who were affected by this tumultuous period. It was a time of great hopes that were never quite realized and a time of extraordinary violence. Dr. Anna Keay is the Director of the Landmark Trust; a British Non-Profit whose mission is to rescue buildings of historic and architectural significance. Dr. Keay is the former curator for the Historic Royal Palaces, she has a PhD from the University of London. In addition to her latest work on the "Restless Republic" she is also the author of "The Last Royal Rebel: the Life and Death of James Duke of Monmouth." 
50:25 2/9/23
Challenges to Religious Freedom
David Callaway discusses the modern challenges to religious freedom with host John Ericson. David Callaway is the Religious Freedom Specialist for the Freedom Forum, a non-profit fostering First Amendment freedoms for all. David oversees the Freedom Forum’s religious freedom work acting as a resource for educators, journalists, and the general public on the role of religious freedom and religious literacy in a pluralistic democracy. David specializes in religion and public schools and has trained thousands of educators and administrators on how to teach about religion constitutionally and academically.
40:13 9/22/22
Religion, Race, Authority and Freedom in the Atlantic World
In this episode, we interview Dr. Katharine Gerbner, Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, about her research on the religious dimensions of the Atlantic slave trade. Dr. Gerbner studied three groups: Anglicans, Quakers, and Moravians analyzing how they engaged with, defended, and benefited from the slave trade in Barbados and other English Colonies. How did groups that we associate with pacifism and abolitionism justify owning other human beings? What was the focus of the Established Church of England in relation to the expansion of the British Empire? Our latest episode explores these and other related topics that help us understand our early American religious experience. Dr. Katharine Gerbner holds degrees from Columbia and Harvard Universities. She is a native of Germantown PA and is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Minnesota. She writes; “My first book, Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World, shows how debates between slave-owners, black Christians, and missionaries transformed the practice of Protestantism and the language of race.” 
58:07 6/8/22
Stories from the Old Brick Church
There’s an old ghost story about an Anglican Minister who is buried right behind the east wall of St. Luke’s. His name is Alexander Norris. But, Norris’ real story is even more intriguing than the ghost story. In this episode, we talk with Isle of Wight County Museum Curator, Rachel Popp, about Norris and other notable people buried in the Old Brick Church Cemetery. Rachel Popp is the Curator at the Isle of Wight County Museum. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Christopher Newport University. She is the former Education Coordinator at St. Luke’s Historic Church and museum, She participates in other Virginia Museum Organizations including Virginia Emerging Museum Professionals (Hampton Roads Ambassador), Peninsula Museums Forum (President), and the Virginia Association of Museums (Member/Student of the Certificate in Museum Management Program).
64:47 4/20/22
Indigenous People and the Church of England
In this episode, we discuss, with Buck Woodard, the religious experience of the Indigenous people of the Chesapeake, their interactions with the Church of England and the Native American School at the College of William & Mary, the Brafferton School. Buck Woodard is a cultural anthropologist specializing in historical and applied research, with interests in ethnographic and ethnohistorical writing, and ethnological study of indigenous North America. Buck is a Professorial Lecturer at American University. He holds degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and the College of William and Mary. 
63:50 4/13/22
The Women of Jamestown and the Church of England
In 2019, there were many lectures and commemorations of the first African Americans to arrive in the Colony of Virginia who were forced into labor for the Planter class. But, 1619 was also the year that brought the first large influx of English Women to the Colony. Why did these women agree to become wives to men they had never met? What was the role and status of these women at Jamestown? What new laws gave incentive for these women to come to a place that posed so many threats to their well-being? How did the Established Church look upon women?  Today we will discuss with Jamie Helmick the answer to these and other fascinating questions. Jamie Helmick is the Special Projects and Programs Manager for Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. Jamie has degrees from Christopher Newport University (CNU) and Old Dominion University. 
41:30 4/6/22
Religion, Race and Bacon’s Rebellion
Bacon’s Rebellion is often considered a precursor of the American Revolution. However, nothing could be further from the truth. We will discuss in Episode 3, with Dr. James Rice, the strange events that led to the burning of the Capitol of the Virginia Colony at Jamestown and how this violent period affected the rest of the Colonial era and beyond. Dr. James D. Rice is the Walter S. Dickson Professor of English and American History at Tufts University, where he teaches early American, Native American, and environmental history. Dr. Rice holds degrees from Colorado College and the University of Maryland. 
58:28 3/30/22
Religion and Emancipation
In this episode, we will explore, with Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, the role of the church in the movement towards Emancipation. How did the Christianity of the English Planter Class become transformed into the power of Emancipation by the enslaved people of America? What was the role of the African American Episcopal Church, and other religious traditions, in the African American Community of the early American Republic?Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander is the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Norfolk State University in Norfolk VA. She holds degrees from the University of Virginia, Old Dominion University, and the College of William & Mary. Dr. Newby-Alexander was the Project Director of the 1619 Conference Series.
69:19 3/23/22
The Church and Origins of Race
The term race once meant any group of people with a common ancestor. But, by the late 17th century, it had taken on a new meaning as that of skin color. In 1682, the Maryland Assembly passed an anti-miscegenation law that, for the first time, designated a category of people using the term “white.” We will discuss with Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander how this novel legal terminology changed the course of history and how it continues to affect us in the 21st century.Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander is the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Norfolk State University in Norfolk VA. She holds degrees from the University of Virginia, Old Dominion University, and the College of William & Mary. Dr. Newby-Alexander was the Project Director of the 1619 Conference Series.
74:30 3/16/22
Podcast Update
History from the Old Brick Church is on hiatus for a few weeks to finish up our recording and editing of Season 2, which will air later this Spring. We will tackle such subjects as the Church and Race, Women's History, Bacon's Rebellion and the struggle of Indigenous Peoples in 17th Century Virginia. We'll also tell you about an interesting tale of a clergyman buried just beyond the east wall of the Old Brick Church. We hope you'll keep listening, reviewing and rating us on your favorite podcast platform! 
02:25 2/23/22
Episode 6: The Continuing Fight for Religious Freedom
Dr. Eric Mazur discusses challenges to religious freedom in the early American Republic. Religious minorities like the Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists were the victims of violence and discrimination. Several court cases have struggled to find the middle ground between anti-establishment and the freedom to express faith in the public square. We, as a nation, continue to pursue that “more perfect union.” Join us for this last episode of our first season of History from the Old Brick Church!Dr. Eric Mazur teaches courses on Judaism, religion in American culture, and the academic study of religion at Virginia Wesleyan University in Virginia Beach, VA. His specific interests include religion and American law, religion and popular culture, and Judaism in the American South. Before returning to graduate school, Dr. Mazur served as a public interest lobbyist in Washington, D.C.Intro and outro created by Thomas Fosdick. Project supported by a grant from Virginia Humanities.
52:55 2/9/22
Episode 5: Religion and the Constitution
Podcast Host John Ericson interviews Author Tony Williams on the role of religion in the Constitution. This episode focuses on Article VI, which prevents religious tests for holding public office, and the 1st Amendment, which guarantees that the federal government will not establish religion or interfere in the free exercise of religion. Williams expounds on the challenges that continue to test us and how Religious Freedom is still an evolving idea. What does the Constitution say about public religious displays? Prayer in public schools? What are the origins of the separation of Church and State? What other contentious issues do we continue to wrestle with in our time? Tony Williams is a Senior Fellow at the Bill of Rights Institute in Arlington, Virginia and the author of six books including Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance that Forged America, with co-author Stephen Knott, and Hamilton: An American Biography. Williams has degrees from Ohio State University and Syracuse University. Intro and outro created by Thomas Fosdick. Project supported by a grant from Virginia Humanities.
56:30 2/2/22
Episode 4: Religion and the American Revolution
In this episode, we discuss the religious context of the American Revolution. Our guest speaker is an author, Dr. Spencer McBride, who writes about the role of clergy in influencing people on both sides of the conflict, the role of military chaplains, and the religious issues that were among the many grievances of the Colonists towards Parliament and King George III. While the American Revolution is not considered a religious conflict, John Adams states in 1815 that “apprehension to Episcopacy” was among the leading causes of the conflict. The imposition of Establishment was bitterly opposed by many Colonists and led to the efforts of many leaders of the early republic to establish laws protecting Religious Freedom.Dr. Spencer McBride is the author of Pulpit and Nation. McBride is also the Editor of the Joseph Smith Papers and a specialist regarding the American Revolution and the early American Republic. He has a Ph D from Louisiana State University and is currently completing a book on Joseph Smith’s ill-fated campaign for the Presidency in 1844.Intro and outro created by Thomas Fosdick. Project supported by a grant from Virginia Humanities.
49:33 1/26/22
Episode 3: Religious Strife and the Founding of a Colony
In the early years of the 17th Century, religious warfare was raging in Europe and England was struggling with various reform factions that caused deep divisions and violence. Recent archaeological evidence from Jamestown suggests that the Colony was far more religiously diverse than previously realized and those divides had an enormous impact on the shape of the Colony’s politics and governing principles. Our host, John Ericson, will explore this history with guest speaker Mark Summers.Mark Summers is the Director of Public and Youth Programming at Jamestowne Rediscovery. Summers has an expertise in the English Reformation with a focus on how the religious divides in England carried over to the first permanent English Settlement in Virginia. Summers has an undergraduate degree in History from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a Master’s from the University of Mississippi. Intro and outro created by Thomas Fosdick. Project supported by a grant from Virginia Humanities.
60:47 1/19/22
Episode 1: Introduction to History From the Old Brick Church
Podcast host, John Ericson, interviews Rachel Popp, St. Luke’s Education Coordinator, about the mission of St. Luke’s Historic Church & Museum. This episode outlines the first part of the podcast series, which focuses on issues of Religious Freedom. Rachel Popp is a graduate of Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor’s in History and Childhood Studies minor. Popp has been the Education Coordinator at St. Luke’s Historic Church & Museum since 2016, overseeing the site’s educational programming and interpretation. She participates in many Virginia Museum Organizations including Virginia Emerging Museum Professionals (Hampton Roads Ambassador), Peninsula Museums Forum (President), and the Virginia Association of Museums (Member/Student of the Certificate in Museum Management Program).Intro and outro created by Thomas Fosdick. Project supported by a grant from Virginia Humanities.
52:12 1/12/22
Episode 2: What is History?
People often confuse history with memory. History is the study of the past through the investigation of primary source materials, scientific data, and reportage. Memory is a community’s reflections on a past event or people, usually with a goal of influencing current agendas. Guest speaker, Dr. Sheri Shuck-Hall, will discuss the distinction between the two and why it’s important for us to understand why historical interpretation continues to evolve.Dr. Shuck-Hall is the Director of Christopher Newport University’s Public History Center. The Center’s mission is to, “foster a broader understanding of the importance of history and to forge closer relationships between Christopher Newport University and the world-class museums, archives, and public history agencies located throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.” Dr. Shuck-Hall has a B.A. in History from Berry College and an MA and PhD in History from Auburn University. Intro and outro created by Thomas Fosdick. Project supported by a grant from Virginia Humanities.
31:20 1/12/22