2011 | Providence, Rhode Island

Roger Williams and Early American Religious History

In his famous Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville recognized the preeminent role of religion in the young Nation. "Religion in America... must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country." This is no more evident than in the history of Providence Plantation and Rhode Island.

Escaping entrapments of Puritans in northern New England, Roger Williams sought a place where all inhabitants could enjoy freedom of conscience and religious practice. Today its capital features the First Baptist Church in America, the Roger Williams National Memorial, the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Brown University, just to name a few. Students in the 7th cohort of the Jerusalem and Athens Forum visited these and other notable landmarks during a day trip to this nearby city. Students and faculty joined peers and colleagues from Providence College, established by Dominican Friars in 1917, for dinner and discussion.