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Thursday, November 22, 2012

The First Thanksgiving

Last year I argued that Thanksgiving is the American Exodus story ("Thanksgiving and American Civil Religion"). Just like the ancient Israelites, many of whom didn't descend from those who fled from Pharaoh but later joined with those who did, most Americans don't descend from the Pilgrims but they have adopted the Thanksgiving story as their story. On the 4th Thursday of November, most of us join family and friends and either implicitly and explicitly recall the first Thanksgiving.

Of course, how we recall the first Thanksgiving may not be entirely accurate. In fact, it is almost certain that we don't. How we recall it and what may have actually happened is the subject of the latest podcast on Tony Gill's "Research on Religion" ("Tracy McKenzie on the 'First' Thanksgiving"). Here's a brief description of the podcast from the Research on Religion website:
Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States, Prof. Tracy McKenzie (Wheaton College) takes us on a tour of the world of the Pilgrims who landed in Plymouth. We discover who they were, how they worshipped and the interesting (not commonly known) history of The “First” Thanksgiving. More than just a “grade school” understanding of this American tradition, Prof. McKenzie challenges Christians to engage in a deeper understanding of their own history. This interview will make for great conversational tidbits around the dinner table!
This is a very interesting and highly recommended podcast.

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