The life of the nineteenth-century American prophet, William Bickerton, was not explored comprehensively until 2017-2018 — two centuries after his birth. His life offers new and exciting perspectives for the historiographies of American revivalism, Christian Restorationism, millennialism, Mormonism, and biography. My articles, “The Rocky Road to Prophethood: William Bickerton’s Emergence as an American Prophet” (2017) and “Opening the Windows of Heaven: The Bickertonite Spiritual Revival 1856-1858” (2018), along with my book, William Bickerton: Forgotten Latter Day Prophet (2018), utilise an emic approach to examine Bickerton and his religious movement within the contexts of American culture and Mormonism.
Conferred Sep 2018
This project will investigate the construction of Jewish and Christian identities in the painting "The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple" (1860) by William Holman Hunt and other relevant works. The Jewish nature of "The Finding" has been almost entirely overlooked to date. It has not been examined within the field of Jewish Studies and the attention that it has received within art-historical discourse has focused upon the Christian message offered by the artist and his associates. The scene is known as "The Disputation". Assumed to portray a generalised theological dispute between Christianity and Judaism, it also references scholarly disputations, regarded as determinants of truth within the developing academy.
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