In a 1783 sermon, Ezra Stiles, the prominent minister and President of Yale College, called George Washington an “American Joshua.” This course will explore Stiles’ suggestive allusion by studying the statesmanship of the founding father and the biblical leader in parallel. What does the example of Joshua teach us about military and political leadership? To what degree does Washington fit or depart from this biblical model? How did biblical examples influence the reception and interpretation of early American statesmen? We will consider these and related questions through close study of selections from the Bible, Washington’s speeches, and sermons and speeches from the founding era of the American republic.
Dr. Hugh Liebert
Dr. Hugh Liebert is an associate professor of American politics in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, where he teaches courses in political philosophy, American politics, and civil-military relations. He also serves as director of West Point’s Graduate Scholarship Program. Liebert is the author or editor of six books, including Plutarch’s Politics: Between City and Empire. He holds a PhD and MA from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and a BA from Harvard University.
Rabbi Mendel Jacobson
Director, Truman Scholars Program