PUBlic Professor Series | Dr. Tom Robinson

Sex, Drugs, Jesus, and Gin

Dr. Tom Robinson, Department of Religious Studies

The “Roaring Twenties” was an age of clashes and conflicts. Prohibition had set out to make America dry. Liquor and the law fought and liquor won. Atheists and revivalists competed to see who could most permanently send the other to hell or some other place of extinction. Evolutionists and evangelicals made a monkey of a Tennessee courtroom. Hollywood and Heaven tangled as the most famous woman preacher (a Canadian) built her grand 5300-seat revival auditorium two miles from Hollywood’s door. Risqué flappers did what “good girls” didn’t do—smoked, drank, and showed their knees, and young girl preachers called the flappers out. One of these girls stood out, as widely known as the child stars of Hollywood. This is her story, set against the backdrop of the 1920s, revealed through the incidents and accidents of “doing history.” Learn more.

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