Romanticism in Unitarian Boston: The Counter-Cultural Origins of the Church of the Advent and American Anglo-Catholicism (4/26/2023)—Dr. Brent Sirota

“On the first of December 1844, Advent Sunday, a new congregation of the Protestant

Episcopal Church of the United States assembled together for worship in a room on the second

floor of a rented hall at No. 13 Merrimac Street in a working-class section of northwestern

Boston…. Even in these rather modest but hopeful circumstances, the founding of the Church of

the Advent in Boston, ‘mother and mistress of all ritualistic churches in the United States,’ was

a seismic event in American Christianity. Owing as much to an autochthonous high

churchmanship in the United States as it did to the principles of the Oxford Movement in

England, ‘the most advanced ritualistic parish of its day’ was conceived as an

institutionalization of catholic ideals and worship in an underserved section of the city.”

Dr. Brent S. Sirota is associate professor and the Director of Graduate Programs in the Department of History at North Carolina State University. He specializes in the religious and political history of Great Britain and the wider British world in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He received an MA in Religious Studies in 2001, and a Ph.D. in History in 2007, both from the University of Chicago. Dr. Sirota has written a number of articles and book chapters on the history and politics of the Church of England in the decades before and after the Glorious Revolution of 1688-1689. His first book, The Christian Monitors: The Church of England and the Age of Benevolence, 1680-1730 was published by Yale University Press in 2014. It was awarded the John Ben Snow Prize by the North American Conference on British Studies. In 2019, The Hanoverian Succession in Great Britain and its Empire, a collection of essays he co-edited with Allan I. Macinnes, was published by Boydell Press.

Dr. Sirota will speak to Theology on Tap on the founding of the Church of the Advent, its inspiration in the scene of American Romanticism, and how the parish contributed to the development of a distinctly American form of Anglo-Catholicism.

At long last, Theology on Tap returns!

7 p.m.

April 26, 2023

Silvertone Bar & Grill

The Chez Freddie Room

69 Bromfield St, Boston


Join us for Evening Prayer before the talk at 5:30 p.m.

The Church of the Advent

30 Brimmer Street, Boston