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George Washington: An American Joshua?

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.

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