New Book illuminates American religious evolution with heroic contrasts

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William H. Benson has written important volume for understanding American spiritual evolution, morality

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Author William H. Benson compares and contrasts Roger Williams and Cotton Mather in the first of six volumes of “The Parallel Lives of the Noble American Religious Thinkers vs. Believers.” (published by Xlibris) Additional volumes will include: Thomas Paine and George Whitefield, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Joseph Smith, William James and Mary Baker Eddy, Mark Twain and Billy Graham, and H. L. Mencken and the modern televangelist Jim Bakker. The nobility lies in the abilities of these famous personalities to democratize an ideal or enlightened thought for the benefit and understanding of the great American public. Benson has chosen his champions well–and they are among the most beloved of religious personalities or intellectuals in American history.

Roger Williams (1603-1683) championed liberty of conscience. Cotton Mather (1663–1728) promoted acts of kindness and doing good. Roger Williams was born in London but migrated to Boston and then to Salem, Plymouth, and finally to the town he founded: Providence, Rhode Island. Cotton Mather was born in Boston and never strayed from it. Both were trained Puritan ministers, but the young man Roger resigned from the ministry, saying it was “the best callings but (generally) they are the worst trades in the world.” Instead, he made his living “trucking with the Indians.” Cotton preached at his pulpit at Boston’s Old North Church until seven weeks before he passed away. They both wrote books, especially Cotton, who wrote over 400. Alike and yet so different, the two men were thinkers and writers in America’s early religious history, a time which lay much importance upon its religious leaders.

Inspired by the Grecian historian Plutarch, this first of William H. Benson’s studies in heroic contrasts between American religious philosophers and religious proselytizers is part of a progression of personalities and beliefs that will track changes in accepted, religious or mass opinions in American history, thus providing awareness and understanding of the American people’s spiritual and intellectual evolution and of its moral strengths (or weaknesses, as the case may be). This is an important, illuminating volume that adds a new dimension to American religious history!

“The Parallel Lives of the Noble American Religious Thinkers vs. Believers”
By William H. Benson
Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 668 pages | ISBN 978-1-4931-1841-0
Softcover | 6 x 9in | 668 pages | ISBN 978-1-4931-1840-3
E-Book | 668 pages | ISBN 978-1-4931-1842-7
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
William H. Benson earned his degree in history in 1976. He taught history at a junior high school and also at a community college. Since 1992, he has written a biweekly newspaper column that examines historical events and ideas.

Xlibris Publishing, an Author Solutions, LLC imprint, is a self-publishing services provider created in 1997 by authors, for authors. By focusing on the needs of creative writers and artists and adopting the latest print-on-demand publishing technology and strategies, we provide expert publishing services with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full-color formats. To date, Xlibris has helped to publish more than 60,000 titles. For more information, visit or call 1-888-795-4274 to receive a free publishing guide. Follow us @XlibrisPub on Twitter for the latest news.

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