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Dr. Stephen Monsma to speak on John Adams at Loutit District Library | Arts & Culture

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Dr. Stephen Monsma to speak on John Adams at Loutit District Library
Dr. Stephen Monsma to speak on John Adams at Loutit District Library

GRAND HAVEN -- To complement the John Adams Unbound exhibit at the Loutit District Library, Dr. Stephen Monsma, Research Fellow at the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin College and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Pepperdine University, will present a discussion on the exhibit’s theme “Service to God” on Thursday, July 21 at 7:00 p.m.

Monsma’s presentation reveals John Adams’s fascination with questions of religion and spirituality. Adams read widely in the subject all his life and he even considered becoming a minister in his younger years before settling upon the law. Despite his lifelong pursuit of religious studies and interest in spiritual controversies, his fundamental beliefs remained constant. As he affirmed to Jefferson at the age of 81, “The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount contain my Religion.”

As steadfast as he was in his own faith, Adams could not resist ongoing debates regarding the nature of miracles and questions of religious toleration. His books became places where Adams could consider, question, and ultimately confirm his basic Unitarian belief in God and the inscrutability of divine mysteries. As he reported to Jefferson, the reading of all these volumes had “made no Change in my moral or religious Creed, which has for 50 or 60 Years been contained in four short Words, ‘Be Just and Good.’”

Monsma’s program, held in the library's Program Room A, is free to the public.

The John Adams Unbound traveling exhibit is on display at the Loutit District Library (LDL) through August 5. The nine-panel exhibit is based on the personal library of John Adams willed by Adams to the people of Massachusetts and deposited in the Boston Public Library in 1894. This remarkable collection of books provides first-hand insight into how John Adams shaped American history and how he was shaped through his lifelong dedication to reading and books.

The John Adams Unbound traveling exhibition was organized by the Boston Public Library and the America Library Association and made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: great ideas brought to life-book collection.

For more information, visit www.loutitlibrary.org or call 616-842-5560, ext. 214.

Loutit District Library is located at 407 Columbus Avenue in Grand Haven, Michigan. The library serves 35,510 residents of the City of Grand Haven, the City of Ferrysburg, Grand Haven Charter Township, Robinson Township and that part of Port Sheldon Township in the Grand Haven Area Public School District.