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The Founding Fathers And The Debate Over Religion In Revolutionary America

Author: Matthew Harris
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0195326490
Size: 61.83 MB
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Whether America was founded as a Christian nation or as a secular republic is one of the most fiercely debated questions in American history. Historians Matthew Harris and Thomas Kidd offer an authoritative examination of the essential documents needed to understand this debate. The texts included in this volume - writings and speeches from both well-known and obscure early American thinkers - show that religion played a prominent yet fractious role in the era of the American Revolution. In their personal beliefs, the Founders ranged from profound skeptics like Thomas Paine to traditional Christians like Patrick Henry. Nevertheless, most of the Founding Fathers rallied around certain crucial religious principles, including the idea that people were "created" equal, the belief that religious freedom required the disestablishment of state-backed denominations, the necessity of virtue in a republic, and the role of Providence in guiding the affairs of nations. Harris and Kidd show that through the struggles of war and the framing of the Constitution, Americans sought to reconcile their dedication to religious vitality with their commitment to religious freedom.

Faith And The Founders Of The American Republic

Author: Mark David Hall
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019984335X
Size: 52.31 MB
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Thirteen essays written by leading scholars explore the impact of a rich variety of religious traditions on the political thought of America's founders.

God S New Israel

Author: Conrad Cherry
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 9780807824498
Size: 72.46 MB
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The belief that America has been providentially chosen for a special destiny has deep roots in the country's past. As both a stimulus of creative American energy and a source of American self-righteousness, this notion has long served as a motivating national mythology. "God's New Israel" is a collection of thirty-one readings that trace the theme of American destiny under God through major developments in U.S. history. First published in 1971 and now thoroughly updated to reflect contemporary events, it features the words of such prominent and diverse Americans as Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Jefferson, Brigham Young, Chief Seattle, Abraham Lincoln, Frances Willard, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Ralph Reed, and Rosemary Radford Ruether. Neither a history of American religious denominations nor a history of American theology, this book is instead an illuminating look at how religion has helped shape Americans' understanding of themselves as a people.

One Nation Under God

Author: John D. Wilsey
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1630876321
Size: 40.85 MB
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Is America a Christian nation? This question has loomed large in American culture since the Puritans arrived on American shores in the early seventeenth century. More recently, the Christian America thesis has been advocated by many evangelical leaders across the denominational spectrum. This book contributes to the conversation by critiquing, from an evangelical perspective, the idea that America is a Christian nation as articulated by specific writers over the past three decades. Wilsey asserts that the United States was not conceived as a Christian nation, but as a nation with religious liberty. Herein lies the genius of the Founders and the uniqueness of America.

Religion In American Life

Author: Jon Butler
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199913293
Size: 39.20 MB
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"Quite ambitious, tracing religion in the United States from European colonization up to the 21st century.... The writing is strong throughout."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "One can hardly do better than Religion in American Life.... A good read, especially for the uninitiated. The initiated might also read it for its felicity of narrative and the moments of illumination that fine scholars can inject even into stories we have all heard before. Read it."--Church History This new edition of Religion in American Life, written by three of the country's most eminent historians of religion, offers a superb overview that spans four centuries, illuminating the rich spiritual heritage central to nearly every event in our nation's history. Beginning with the state of religious affairs in both the Old and New Worlds on the eve of colonization and continuing through to the present, the book covers all the major American religious groups, from Protestants, Jews, and Catholics to Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, Buddhists, and New Age believers. Revised and updated, the book includes expanded treatment of religion during the Great Depression, of the religious influences on the civil rights movement, and of utopian groups in the 19th century, and it now covers the role of religion during the 2008 presidential election, observing how completely religion has entered American politics.

New Directions In American Religious History

Author: Harry S. Stout
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198027201
Size: 20.10 MB
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The eighteen essays collected in this book originate from a conference of the same title, held at the Wingspread Conference Center in October of 1993. Leading scholars were invited to reflect on their specialties in American religious history in ways that summarized both where the field is and where it ought to move in the decades to come. The essays are organized according to four general themes: places and regions, universal themes, transformative events, and marginal groups and ethnocultural "outsiders." They address a wide range of specific topics including Puritanism, Protestantism and economic behavior, gender and sexuality in American Protestantism, and the twentieth-century de-Christianization of American public culture. Among the contributors are such distinguished scholars as David D. Hall, Donald G. Matthews, Allen C. Guelzo, Gordon S. Wood, Daniel Walker Howe, Robert Wuthnow, Jon Butler, David A. Hollinger, Harry S. Stout, and John Higham. Taken together, these essays reveal a rapidly expanding field of study that is breaking out of its traditional confines and spilling into all of American history. The book takes the measure of the changes of the last quarter-century and charts numerous challenges to future work.

The Faiths Of The Founding Fathers

Author: David L. Holmes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198041233
Size: 14.52 MB
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It is not uncommon to hear Christians argue that America was founded as a Christian nation. But how true is this claim? In this compact book, David L. Holmes offers a clear, concise and illuminating look at the spiritual beliefs of our founding fathers. He begins with an informative account of the religious culture of the late colonial era, surveying the religious groups in each colony. In particular, he sheds light on the various forms of Deism that flourished in America, highlighting the profound influence this intellectual movement had on the founding generation. Holmes then examines the individual beliefs of a variety of men and women who loom large in our national history. He finds that some, like Martha Washington, Samuel Adams, John Jay, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson's daughters, held orthodox Christian views. But many of the most influential figures, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John and Abigail Adams, Jefferson, James and Dolley Madison, and James Monroe, were believers of a different stripe. Respectful of Christianity, they admired the ethics of Jesus, and believed that religion could play a beneficial role in society. But they tended to deny the divinity of Christ, and a few seem to have been agnostic about the very existence of God. Although the founding fathers were religious men, Holmes shows that it was a faith quite unlike the Christianity of today's evangelicals. Holmes concludes by examining the role of religion in the lives of the presidents since World War II and by reflecting on the evangelical resurgence that helped fuel the reelection of George W. Bush. An intriguing look at a neglected aspect of our history, the book will appeal to American history buffs as well as to anyone concerned about the role of religion in American culture.

John Adams

Author: David McCullough
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 141657588X
Size: 36.51 MB
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Chronicles the life of America's second president, including his youth, his career as a Massachusetts farmer and lawyer, his marriage to Abigail, his rivalry with Thomas Jefferson, and his influence on the birth of the United States.

American Gospel

Author: Jon Meacham
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
ISBN: 0812976665
Size: 72.29 MB
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The best-selling author of Franklin and Winston offers an incisive historical portrait of religion and politics in America, from the colonial period to the present day, and cites the need for contemporary society to embrace the principles of the Founding Fathers. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.