Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize Ceremony @ MHS

Yuqi Wang,  Peter Gomes  (2015). Oil on canvas, 101.6 x 86.4 cm. Harvard University Portrait Collection.

Yuqi Wang, Peter Gomes (2015). Oil on canvas, 101.6 x 86.4 cm. Harvard University Portrait Collection.

Looking forward to catching up with friends and colleagues in Boston this coming Wednesday, February 13, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Massachusetts Historical Society. I’ll be discussing Darkness Falls on the Land of Light in an innovative public forum moderated by Wellesley College historian Steve Marini. I’m grateful to the staff at the MHS for supporting my research for more than two decades; and I’m thrilled and honored that DFLL was selected for the 2018 Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize. One of my favorite illustrations in the book—an unusual overmantel painting depicting a Council of Ministers (see below and page 368)—hangs in a quiet hallway in Memorial Hall, not far from the pulpit where Professor Gomes delivered inspirational sermons and addresses to legions of Harvard students during his four-decade career.

 Click the button below to learn more about the MHS event on Wednesday evening, which requires a reservation but is free and open to the public.

Unidentified Artist,  Council of Ministers  (circa 1744). Oil on wood panel, 77.3 × 106 cm. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Dr. Francis L. Burnett and Mrs. Esther Lowell Cunningham.

Unidentified Artist, Council of Ministers (circa 1744). Oil on wood panel, 77.3 × 106 cm. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Dr. Francis L. Burnett and Mrs. Esther Lowell Cunningham.

DFLL Receives Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Award from MHS

Darkness Falls on the Land of Light has been awarded the Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Award from the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston. This prestigious book prize honors the Rev. Peter Gomes (1942–2011), Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard Divinity School and a longtime supporter of the MHS.

The MHS is one of my favorite research haunts. I can still remember my first visit to Boylston Street over two decades ago. On that day, I discovered several important letters that anchor my analysis of the Great Earthquake of 1727. Over the years, regular trips to the MHS taught me critical archival research skills: from searching finding aids and card catalogs to handling rare books and manuscripts. I’ll always be grateful to the MHS archivists for sharing their incomparable expertise with unfailing good humor as I plowed through countless boxes and folders.

The award ceremony next February will feature a public forum in which I discuss DFLL with Wellesley College historian Stephen Marini. More details soon!