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The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America

By Frank Lambert
  • ISBN Code: : 9781400825530
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Pages : 344
  • Category : History
  • Reads : 667
  • Book Compatibility : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Pdf : the-founding-fathers-and-the-place-of-religion-in-america.pdf

Book Excerpt :

How did the United States, founded as colonies with explicitly religious aspirations, come to be the first modern state whose commitment to the separation of church and state was reflected in its constitution? Frank Lambert explains why this happened, offering in the process a synthesis of American history from the first British arrivals through Thomas Jefferson's controversial presidency. Lambert recognizes that two sets of spiritual fathers defined the place of religion in early America: what Lambert calls the Planting Fathers, who brought Old World ideas and dreams of building a "City upon a Hill," and the Founding Fathers, who determined the constitutional arrangement of religion in the new republic. While the former proselytized the "one true faith," the latter emphasized religious freedom over religious purity. Lambert locates this shift in the mid-eighteenth century. In the wake of evangelical revival, immigration by new dissenters, and population expansion, there emerged a marketplace of religion characterized by sectarian competition, pluralism, and widened choice. During the American Revolution, dissenters found sympathetic lawmakers who favored separating church and state, and the free marketplace of religion gained legal status as the Founders began the daunting task of uniting thirteen disparate colonies. To avoid discord in an increasingly pluralistic and contentious society, the Founders left the religious arena free of government intervention save for the guarantee of free exercise for all. Religious people and groups were also free to seek political influence, ensuring that religion's place in America would always be a contested one, but never a state-regulated one. An engaging and highly readable account of early American history, this book shows how religious freedom came to be recognized not merely as toleration of dissent but as a natural right to be enjoyed by all Americans.

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The Barbary Wars

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  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
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  • Book Code : 0374707278
  • Total of Pages : 240
  • Category : History
  • Members : 878
  • Pdf File: the-barbary-wars.pdf

Book Short Summary:

The history of America's conflict with the piratical states of the Mediterranean runs through the presidencies of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison; the adoption of the Constitution; the Quasi-War with France and the War of 1812; the construction of a full-time professional navy; and, most important, the nation's haltering steps toward commercial independence. Frank Lambert's genius is to see in the Barbary Wars the ideal means of capturing the new nation's shaky emergence in the complex context of the Atlantic world. Depicting a time when Britain ruled the seas and France most of Europe, The Barbary Wars proves America's earliest conflict with the Arabic world was always a struggle for economic advantage rather than any clash of cultures or religions.

One Nation Under God

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  • Publisher : Basic Books
  • Book Code : 0465040640
  • Total of Pages : 384
  • Category : History
  • Members : 340
  • Pdf File: one-nation-under-god.pdf

Book Short Summary:

The provocative and authoritative history of the origins of Christian America in the New Deal era We're often told that the United States is, was, and always has been a Christian nation. But in One Nation Under God, historian Kevin M. Kruse reveals that the belief that America is fundamentally and formally Christian originated in the 1930s. To fight the "slavery" of FDR's New Deal, businessmen enlisted religious activists in a campaign for "freedom under God" that culminated in the election of their ally Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. The new president revolutionized the role of religion in American politics. He inaugurated new traditions like the National Prayer Breakfast, as Congress added the phrase "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance and made "In God We Trust" the country's first official motto. Church membership soon soared to an all-time high of 69 percent. Americans across the religious and political spectrum agreed that their country was "one nation under God." Provocative and authoritative, One Nation Under God reveals how an unholy alliance of money, religion, and politics created a false origin story that continues to define and divide American politics to this day.

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Book Short Summary:

A religious historian argues that historical revisionism has distorted the religious views of Thomas Jefferson, making him appear far more skeptical than he was. Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers intended a strict separation of church and state, right? He would have been very upset to find out about a child praying in a public school or a government building used for religious purposes, correct? Actually, the history on this has been very distorted. The standard accepted story on the faith of Thomas Jefferson (or the lack thereof) is not accurate. While he did harbor some doubts about orthodox Christianity by the end of his life, he was actually quite active in supporting the church in America. Meanwhile, in his name today, because of a misunderstanding about “the separation of church and state” (a phrase that comes from an obscure letter he wrote), religious expression is being curtailed all over the place in modern America. And he would absolutely object to that, as seen in his own actions and writings. While Jefferson may seem to be the patron saint of the ACLU, his words and actions showed that he would totally disagree with the idea of driving God out of the public square. Doubting Thomas documents that. In short, it’s time to set the record straight.

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Book Short Summary:

Ultimately, the book is a story of Jacksonian America, of how democracy can fail religious freedom, and a case study in popular politics as America entered a great age of religion and violence.

The Founding Fathers and the Debate over Religion in Revolutionary America

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  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
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Book Short Summary:

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.

Demanding Liberty

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  • Total of Pages : 192
  • Category : Religion
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  • Pdf File: demanding-liberty.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Historian Brandon O'Brien unveils an untold story of religious liberty in America. Between theocracy and secularism, Baptist pastor Isaac Backus contended for a third way—religious liberty and freedom of conscience for all Americans, regardless of belief. Backus's ideas impacted his era, giving us insight into how people of faith today can navigate political debates and work for the common good.

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  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
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  • Book Code : 0393244318
  • Total of Pages : 448
  • Category : Political Science
  • Members : 273
  • Pdf File: nature-s-god.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Longlisted for the National Book Award. Where did the ideas come from that became the cornerstone of American democracy? America’s founders intended to liberate us not just from one king but from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion. Drawing deeply on the study of European philosophy, Matthew Stewart brilliantly tracks the ancient, pagan, and continental ideas from which America’s revolutionaries drew their inspiration. In the writings of Spinoza, Lucretius, and other great philosophers, Stewart recovers the true meanings of “Nature’s God,” “the pursuit of happiness,” and the radical political theory with which the American experiment in self-government began.

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  • Total of Pages : 384
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  • Pdf File: 100-bible-verses-that-made-america.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Bestselling author Robert Morgan explores 100 Bible verses that powerfully impacted our leaders during defining moments in American history and reflects upon what these verses mean for us as a nation today. 100 Bible Verses That Made America is a tour through the biblical roots of American history—a powerful exploration of our country’s founders, leaders, and the critical moments that laid the foundation for the formation of the USA. Had there been no Bible, there would be no America as we know it. It is the Bible that made America. When George Washington was sworn into office as our first president, he did not place his hand on the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States, as important as those documents are. Instead, he swore upon and even kissed the Bible to sanctify this important moment. The Bible, Washington knew, had ushered American history to this point. While not every Founding Father was a Christian, each was knowledgeable about the Bible. And while none of them was perfect, many embraced a deep faith in the unfailing Word of God. 100 Bible Verses That Made America contains: Short, devotional-style chapters, each featuring a Bible verse and how it influenced a historical figure Engaging stories spanning from the Mayflower to modern day Vivid segments that emphasize the Bible as the cornerstone of American history Journey with Robert J. Morgan as he shares the Bible’s role in the defining moments of American history and its impact on the people of our nation, reminding us of the beauty of faith and country and reigniting our passion for both.

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  • Pdf File: one-nation-under-god.pdf

Book Short Summary:

In this highly original approach to the history of the United States, James Moore focuses on the extraordinary role that prayer has played in every area of American life, from the time of the first settlers to the present day and beyond. A stirring chronicle of the spiritual life of a nation, One Nation Under God shows how the faith of Americans—from the founding fathers to corporate tycoons, from composers to social reformers, from generals to slaves—was an essential ingredient in the formation of American culture, character, commerce and creed. One Nation Under God brings together the country’s hymns, patriotic anthems, arts, and literature as a framework for telling the story of the innermost thoughts of the people who have shaped the United States we know today. Beginning with Native Americans, One Nation Under God traces the prayer lives of Quakers and Shakers, Sikhs and Muslims, Catholics and Jews, from their earliest days in the United States through the advent of cyberspace, the aftermath of 9/11, and the 2004 presidential election. It probes the approach to prayer by such diverse individuals as Benjamin Franklin, Elvis Presley, Frank Lloyd Wright, Martha Graham, J. C. Penney, Mary Pickford, Cesar Chavez, P. T. Barnum, Jackie Robinson, and Christopher Columbus. It includes every president of the United States as well as America’s farmers, clergy, immigrants, industrialists, miners, sports heroes, and scientists. One Nation Under God shows that without prayer, the political, cultural, social, and even economic and military history of the United States would be vastly different from what it is today. It engages in a thoughtful, timely examination of the modern debate over public prayer and how the current approach to prayer bears deep roots in the philosophies of the country’s founding fathers, a subject which remains distinct from the debate over church and state.

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  • Publisher : University of Chicago Press
  • Book Code : 022640059X
  • Total of Pages : 192
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  • Pdf File: have-a-little-faith.pdf

Book Short Summary:

It isn’t just in recent arguments over the teaching of intelligent design or reciting the pledge of allegiance that religion and education have butted heads: since their beginnings nearly two centuries ago, public schools have been embroiled in heated controversies over religion’s place in the education system of a pluralistic nation. In this book, Benjamin Justice and Colin Macleod take up this rich and significant history of conflict with renewed clarity and astonishing breadth. Moving from the American Revolution to the present—from the common schools of the nineteenth century to the charter schools of the twenty-first—they offer one of the most comprehensive assessments of religion and education in America that has ever been published. From Bible readings and school prayer to teaching evolution and cultivating religious tolerance, Justice and Macleod consider the key issues and colorful characters that have shaped the way American schools have attempted to negotiate religious pluralism in a politically legitimate fashion. While schools and educational policies have not always advanced tolerance and understanding, Justice and Macleod point to the many efforts Americans have made to find a place for religion in public schools that both acknowledges the importance of faith to so many citizens and respects democratic ideals that insist upon a reasonable separation of church and state. Finally, they apply the lessons of history and political philosophy to an analysis of three critical areas of religious controversy in public education today: student-led religious observances in extracurricular activities, the tensions between freedom of expression and the need for inclusive environments, and the shift from democratic control of schools to loosely regulated charter and voucher programs. Altogether Justice and Macleod show how the interpretation of educational history through the lens of contemporary democratic theory offers both a richer understanding of past disputes and new ways of addressing contemporary challenges.

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  • Total of Pages :
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  • Pdf File: pedlar-in-divinity.pdf

Book Short Summary:

A pioneer in the commercialization of religion, George Whitefield (1714-1770) is seen by many as the most powerful leader of the Great Awakening in America: through his passionate ministry he united local religious revivals into a national movement before there was a nation. An itinerant British preacher who spent much of his adult life in the American colonies, Whitefield was an immensely popular speaker. Crossing national boundaries and ignoring ecclesiastical controls, he preached outdoors or in public houses and guild halls. In London, crowds of more than thirty thousand gathered to hear him, and his audiences exceeded twenty thousand in Philadelphia and Boston. In this fresh interpretation of Whitefield and his age, Frank Lambert focuses not so much on the evangelist's oratorical skills as on the marketing techniques that he borrowed from his contemporaries in the commercial world. What emerges is a fascinating account of the birth of consumer culture in the eighteenth century, especially the new advertising methods available to those selling goods and services--or salvation. Whitefield faced a problem similar to that of the new Atlantic merchants: how to reach an ever-expanding audience of anonymous strangers, most of whom he would never see face-to-face. To contact this mass "congregation," Whitefield exploited popular print, especially newspapers. In addition, he turned to a technique later imitated by other evangelists such as Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday, and Billy Graham: the deployment of advance publicity teams to advertise his coming presentations. Immersed in commerce themselves, Whitefield's auditors appropriated him as a well-publicized English import. He preached against the excesses and luxuries of the spreading consumer society, but he drew heavily on the new commercialism to explain his mission to himself and to his transatlantic audience.

Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers

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  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Book Code : 0199987955
  • Total of Pages : 320
  • Category : History
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  • Pdf File: reading-the-bible-with-the-founding-fathers.pdf

Book Short Summary:

No book was more accessible or familiar to the American founders than the Bible, and no book was more frequently alluded to or quoted from in the political discourse of the age. How and for what purposes did the founding generation use the Bible? How did the Bible influence their political culture? Shedding new light on some of the most familiar rhetoric of the founding era, Daniel Dreisbach analyzes the founders' diverse use of scripture, ranging from the literary to the theological. He shows that they looked to the Bible for insights on human nature, civic virtue, political authority, and the rights and duties of citizens, as well as for political and legal models to emulate. They quoted scripture to authorize civil resistance, to invoke divine blessings for righteous nations, and to provide the language of liberty that would be appropriated by patriotic Americans. Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers broaches the perennial question of whether the American founding was, to some extent, informed by religious--specifically Christian--ideas. In the sense that the founding generation were members of a biblically literate society that placed the Bible at the center of culture and discourse, the answer to that question is clearly "yes." Ignoring the Bible's influence on the founders, Dreisbach warns, produces a distorted image of the American political experiment, and of the concept of self-government on which America is built.

The Oxford Handbook of Church and State in the United States

By Derek H. Davis
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Book Code : 0199716935
  • Total of Pages : 592
  • Category : Political Science
  • Members : 829
  • Pdf File: the-oxford-handbook-of-church-and-state-in-the-united-states.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Study of church and state in the United States is incredibly complex. Scholars working in this area have backgrounds in law, religious studies, history, theology, and politics, among other fields. Historically, they have focused on particular angles or dimensions of the church-state relationship, because the field is so vast. The results have mostly been monographs that focus only on narrow cross-sections of the field, and the few works that do aim to give larger perspectives are reference works of factual compendia, which offer little or no analysis. The Oxford Handbook of Church and State in the United States fills this gap, presenting an extensive, multidimensional overview of the field. Twenty-one essays offer a scholarly look at the intricacies and past and current debates that frame the American system of church and state, within five main areas: history, law, theology/philosophy, politics, and sociology. These essays provide factual accounts, but also address issues, problems, debates, controversies, and, where appropriate, suggest resolutions. They also offer analysis of the range of interpretations of the subject offered by various American scholars. This Handbook is an invaluable resource for the study of church-state relations in the United States.

Inventing a Christian America

By Steven K. Green
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Book Code : 0190230983
  • Total of Pages : 304
  • Category : History
  • Members : 255
  • Pdf File: inventing-a-christian-america.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Among the most enduring themes in American history is the idea that the United States was founded as a Christian nation. A pervasive narrative in everything from school textbooks to political commentary, it is central to the way in which many Americans perceive the historical legacy of their nation. Yet, as Steven K. Green shows in this illuminating new book, it is little more than a myth. In Inventing a Christian America, Green, a leading historian of religion and politics, explores the historical record that is purported to support the popular belief in America's religious founding and status as a Christian nation. He demonstrates that, like all myths, these claims are based on historical "facts" that have been colored by the interpretive narratives that have been imposed upon them. In tracing the evolution of these claims and the evidence levied in support of them from the founding of the New England colonies, through the American Revolution, and to the present day, he investigates how they became leading narratives in the country's collective identity. Three critical moments in American history shaped and continue to drive the myth of a Christian America: the Puritan founding of New England, the American Revolution and the forging of a new nation, and the early years of the nineteenth century, when a second generation of Americans sought to redefine and reconcile the memory of the founding to match their religious and patriotic aspirations. Seeking to shed light not only on the veracity of these ideas but on the reasons they endure, Green ultimately shows that the notion of America's religious founding is a myth not merely in the colloquial sense, but also in a deeper sense, as a shared story that gives deeper meaning to our collective national identity. Offering a fresh look at one of the most common and contested claims in American history, Inventing a Christian America is an enlightening read for anyone interested in the story of-and the debate over-America's founding.

Inventing the "Great Awakening"

By Frank Lambert
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Book Code : 0691223998
  • Total of Pages : 314
  • Category : History
  • Members : 296
  • Pdf File: inventing-the-great-awakening.pdf

Book Short Summary:

This book is a history of an astounding transatlantic phenomenon, a popular evangelical revival known in America as the first Great Awakening (1735-1745). Beginning in the mid-1730s, supporters and opponents of the revival commented on the extraordinary nature of what one observer called the "great ado," with its extemporaneous outdoor preaching, newspaper publicity, and rallies of up to 20,000 participants. Frank Lambert, biographer of Great Awakening leader George Whitefield, offers an overview of this important episode and proposes a new explanation of its origins. The Great Awakening, however dramatic, was nevertheless unnamed until after its occurrence, and its leaders created no doctrine nor organizational structure that would result in a historical record. That lack of documentation has allowed recent scholars to suggest that the movement was "invented" by nineteenth-century historians. Some specialists even think that it was wholly constructed by succeeding generations, who retroactively linked sporadic happenings to fabricate an alleged historic development. Challenging these interpretations, Lambert nevertheless demonstrates that the Great Awakening was invented--not by historians but by eighteenth-century evangelicals who were skillful and enthusiastic religious promoters. Reporting a dramatic meeting in one location in order to encourage gatherings in other places, these men used commercial strategies and newly popular print media to build a revival--one that they also believed to be an "extraordinary work of God." They saw a special meaning in contemporary events, looking for a transatlantic pattern of revival and finding a motive for spiritual rebirth in what they viewed as a moral decline in colonial America and abroad. By examining the texts that these preachers skillfully put together, Lambert shows how they told and retold their revival account to themselves, their followers, and their opponents. His inquiries depict revivals as cultural productions and yield fresh understandings of how believers "spread the word" with whatever technical and social methods seem the most effective.

Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State

By Daniel Dreisbach
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  • Publisher : NYU Press
  • Book Code : 0814720846
  • Total of Pages : 283
  • Category : Law
  • Members : 555
  • Pdf File: thomas-jefferson-and-the-wall-of-separation-between-church-and-state.pdf

Book Short Summary:

No phrase in American letters has had a more profound influence on church-state law, policy, and discourse than Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation between church and state,” and few metaphors have provoked more passionate debate. Introduced in an 1802 letter to the Danbury, Connecticut Baptist Association, Jefferson’s “wall” is accepted by many Americans as a concise description of the U.S. Constitution’s church-state arrangement and conceived as a virtual rule of constitutional law. Despite the enormous influence of the “wall” metaphor, almost no scholarship has investigated the text of the Danbury letter, the context in which it was written, or Jefferson’s understanding of his famous phrase. Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State offers an in-depth examination of the origins, controversial uses, and competing interpretations of this powerful metaphor in law and public policy.

Faith and the Founders of the American Republic

By Daniel L. Dreisbach,Mark David Hall
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  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Book Code : 0199843341
  • Total of Pages : 384
  • Category : Religion
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  • Pdf File: faith-and-the-founders-of-the-american-republic.pdf

Book Short Summary:

The role of religion in the founding of America has long been a hotly debated question. Some historians have regarded the views of a few famous founders, such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Thomas Paine, as evidence that the founders were deists who advocated the strict separation of church and state. Popular Christian polemicists, on the other hand, have attempted to show that virtually all of the founders were pious Christians in favor of public support for religion. As the essays in this volume demonstrate, a diverse array of religious traditions informed the political culture of the American founding. Faith and the Founders of the American Republic includes studies both of minority faiths, such as Islam and Judaism, and of major traditions like Calvinism. It also includes nuanced analysis of specific founders-Quaker fellow-traveler John Dickinson, prominent Baptists Isaac Backus and John Leland, and Theistic Rationalist Gouverneur Morris, among others-with attention to their personal histories, faiths, constitutional philosophies, and views on the relationship between religion and the state. This volume will be a crucial resource for anyone interested in the place of faith in the founding of the American constitutional republic, from political, religious, historical, and legal perspectives.

The Church of Saint Thomas Paine

By Leigh Eric Schmidt
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Book Code : 0691217262
  • Total of Pages : 272
  • Category : History
  • Members : 892
  • Pdf File: the-church-of-saint-thomas-paine.pdf

Book Short Summary:

The forgotten story of the nineteenth-century freethinkers and twentieth-century humanists who tried to build their own secular religion In The Church of Saint Thomas Paine, Leigh Eric Schmidt tells the surprising story of how freethinking liberals in nineteenth-century America promoted a secular religion of humanity centered on the deistic revolutionary Thomas Paine (1737–1809) and how their descendants eventually became embroiled in the culture wars of the late twentieth century. After Paine’s remains were stolen from his grave in New Rochelle, New York, and shipped to England in 1819, the reverence of his American disciples took a material turn in a long search for his relics. Paine’s birthday was always a red-letter day for these believers in democratic cosmopolitanism and philanthropic benevolence, but they expanded their program to include a broader array of rites and ceremonies, particularly funerals free of Christian supervision. They also worked to establish their own churches and congregations in which to practice their religion of secularism. All of these activities raised serious questions about the very definition of religion and whether it included nontheistic fellowships and humanistic associations—a dispute that erupted again in the second half of the twentieth century. As right-wing Christians came to see secular humanism as the most dangerous religion imaginable, small communities of religious humanists, the heirs of Paine’s followers, were swept up in new battles about religion’s public contours and secularism’s moral perils. An engrossing account of an important but little-known chapter in American history, The Church of Saint Thomas Paine reveals why the lines between religion and secularism are often much blurrier than we imagine.

Faith and Reason

By Richard Swinburne
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Clarendon Press
  • Book Code : 0191536288
  • Total of Pages : 288
  • Category : Philosophy
  • Members : 855
  • Pdf File: faith-and-reason.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Richard Swinburne presents a new edition of the final volume of his acclaimed trilogy on philosophical theology. Faith and Reason is a self-standing examination of the implications for religious faith of Swinburne's famous arguments about the coherence of theism and the existence of God. By practising a particular religion, a person seeks to achieve some or all of three goals - that he worships and obeys God, gains salvation for himself, and helps others to attain their salvation. But not all religions commend worship, and different religions have different conceptions of salvation. Faced with these differences, Richard Swinburne argues that we should practice that religion which has the best goals and is more probably true than the creeds of other religions. He proposes criteria by which to determine the probabilities of different religious creeds, and he argues that, while requiring total commitment, faith does not demand fully convinced belief. While maintaining the same structure and conclusions as the original classic, this second edition has been substantially rewritten, both in order to relate its ideas more closely to those of classical theologians and philosophers and to respond to more recent views. In particular he discusses, and ultimately rejects, the view of Alvin Plantinga that the 'warrant' of a belief depends on the process which produced it, and John Hick's contention that all religions offer valid paths to salvation.

A Documentary History of Religion in America

By Edwin S. Gaustad,Mark A. Noll,Heath W. Carter
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
  • Book Code : 1467450480
  • Total of Pages : 800
  • Category : Religion
  • Members : 981
  • Pdf File: a-documentary-history-of-religion-in-america.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Up-to-date one-volume edition of a standard text For decades students and scholars have turned to the two-volume Documentary History of Religion in America for access to the most significant primary sources relating to American religious history from the sixteenth century to the present. This fourth edition—published in a single volume for the first time—has been updated and condensed, allowing instructors to more easily cover the material in a single semester. With more than a hundred illustrations and a rich array of primary documents ranging from the letters and accounts of early colonists to tweets and transcripts from the 2016 presidential election, this volume remains an essential text for readers who want to encounter firsthand the astonishing scope of religious belief and practice in American history.

Benjamin Franklin

By Thomas S. Kidd
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Yale University Press
  • Book Code : 0300228147
  • Total of Pages : 256
  • Category : Biography & Autobiography
  • Members : 554
  • Pdf File: benjamin-franklin.pdf

Book Short Summary:

A major new biography, illuminating the great mystery of Benjamin Franklin’s faith Renowned as a printer, scientist, and diplomat, Benjamin Franklin also published more works on religious topics than any other eighteenth-century American layperson. Born to Boston Puritans, by his teenage years Franklin had abandoned the exclusive Christian faith of his family and embraced deism. But Franklin, as a man of faith, was far more complex than the “thorough deist” who emerges in his autobiography. As Thomas Kidd reveals, deist writers influenced Franklin’s beliefs, to be sure, but devout Christians in his life—including George Whitefield, the era’s greatest evangelical preacher; his parents; and his beloved sister Jane—kept him tethered to the Calvinist creed of his Puritan upbringing. Based on rigorous research into Franklin’s voluminous correspondence, essays, and almanacs, this fresh assessment of a well-known figure unpacks the contradictions and conundrums faith presented in Franklin’s life.

God in the White House: A History

By Randall Balmer
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Harper Collins
  • Book Code : 0061744344
  • Total of Pages : 256
  • Category : History
  • Members : 263
  • Pdf File: god-in-the-white-house.pdf

Book Short Summary:

How did we go from John F. Kennedy declaring that religion should play no role in the elections to Bush saying, "I believe that God wants me to be president"? Historian Randall Balmer takes us on a tour of presidential religiosity in the last half of the twentieth century—from Kennedy's 1960 speech that proposed an almost absolute wall between American political and religious life to the soft religiosity of Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society; from Richard Nixon's manipulation of religion to fit his own needs to Gerald Ford's quiet stoicism; from Jimmy Carter's introduction of evangelicalism into the mainstream to Ronald Reagan's co-option of the same group; from Bill Clinton's covert way of turning religion into a non-issue to George W. Bush's overt Christian messages, Balmer reveals the role religion has played in the personal and political lives of these American presidents. Americans were once content to disregard religion as a criterion for voting, as in most of the modern presidential elections before Jimmy Carter.But today's voters have come to expect candidates to fully disclose their religious views and to deeply illustrate their personal relationship to the Almighty. God in the White House explores the paradox of Americans' expectation that presidents should simultaneously trumpet their religious views and relationship to God while supporting the separation of church and state. Balmer tells the story of the politicization of religion in the last half of the twentieth century, as well as the "religionization" of our politics. He reflects on the implications of this shift, which have reverberated in both our religious and political worlds, and offers a new lens through which to see not only these extraordinary individuals, but also our current political situation.

The Jefferson Bible

By Thomas Jefferson
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Book Code : 1625582358
  • Total of Pages : 63
  • Category : Religion
  • Members : 322
  • Pdf File: the-jefferson-bible.pdf

Book Short Summary:

In 1804 Thomas Jefferson decided to study the gospels to see if he could distill the essence of Jesus' teachings into a concise book that could be quickly read and easily understood. This volume is the result, offering valuable insights into the teachings of Jesus Christ and into the mind and beliefs of Thomas Jefferson.

The Faiths of the Founding Fathers

By David L. Holmes
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Book Code : 0198041233
  • Total of Pages : 240
  • Category : History
  • Members : 162
  • Pdf File: the-faiths-of-the-founding-fathers.pdf

Book Short Summary:

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.

Kingdom of Nauvoo: The Rise and Fall of a Religious Empire on the American Frontier

By Benjamin E. Park
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Liveright Publishing
  • Book Code : 1631494872
  • Total of Pages : 336
  • Category : History
  • Members : 122
  • Pdf File: kingdom-of-nauvoo.pdf

Book Short Summary:

An extraordinary story of faith and violence in nineteenth-century America, based on previously confidential documents from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Compared to the Puritans, Mormons have rarely gotten their due, treated as fringe cultists at best or marginalized as polygamists unworthy of serious examination at worst. In Kingdom of Nauvoo, the historian Benjamin E. Park excavates the brief life of a lost Mormon city, and in the process demonstrates that the Mormons are, in fact, essential to understanding American history writ large. Drawing on newly available sources from the LDS Church—sources that had been kept unseen in Church archives for 150 years—Park recreates one of the most dramatic episodes of the 19th century frontier. Founded in Western Illinois in 1839 by the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith and his followers, Nauvoo initially served as a haven from mob attacks the Mormons had endured in neighboring Missouri, where, in one incident, seventeen men, women, and children were massacred, and where the governor declared that all Mormons should be exterminated. In the relative safety of Nauvoo, situated on a hill and protected on three sides by the Mississippi River, the industrious Mormons quickly built a religious empire; at its peak, the city surpassed Chicago in population, with more than 12,000 inhabitants. The Mormons founded their own army, with Smith as its general; established their own courts; and went so far as to write their own constitution, in which they declared that there could be no separation of church and state, and that the world was to be ruled by Mormon priests. This experiment in religious utopia, however, began to unravel when gentiles in the countryside around Nauvoo heard rumors of a new Mormon marital practice. More than any previous work, Kingdom of Nauvoo pieces together the haphazard and surprising emergence of Mormon polygamy, and reveals that most Mormons were not participants themselves, though they too heard the rumors, which said that Joseph Smith and other married Church officials had been “sealed” to multiple women. Evidence of polygamy soon became undeniable, and non-Mormons reacted with horror, as did many Mormons—including Joseph Smith’s first wife, Emma Smith, a strong-willed woman who resisted the strictures of her deeply patriarchal community and attempted to save her Church, and family, even when it meant opposing her husband and prophet. A raucous, violent, character-driven story, Kingdom of Nauvoo raises many of the central questions of American history, and even serves as a parable for the American present. How far does religious freedom extend? Can religious and other minority groups survive in a democracy where the majority dictates the law of the land? The Mormons of Nauvoo, who initially believed in the promise of American democracy, would become its strongest critics. Throughout his absorbing chronicle, Park shows the many ways in which the Mormons were representative of their era, and in doing so elevates nineteenth century Mormon history into the American mainstream.

British North America in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

By Stephen Foster
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Book Code : 0192513583
  • Total of Pages : 384
  • Category : History
  • Members : 760
  • Pdf File: british-north-america-in-the-seventeenth-and-eighteenth-centuries.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Until relatively recently, the connection between British imperial history and the history of early America was taken for granted. In recent times, however, early American historiography has begun to suffer from a loss of coherent definition as competing manifestos demand various reorderings of the subject in order to combine time periods and geographical areas in ways that would have previously seemed anomalous. It has also become common place to announce that the history of America is best accounted for in America itself in a three-way melee between "settlers", the indigenous populations, and the forcibly transported African slaves and their creole descendants. The contributions to British North America in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries acknowledge the value of the historiographic work done under this new dispensation in the last two decades and incorporate its insights. However, the volume advocates a pluralistic approach to the subject generally, and attempts to demonstrate that the metropolitan power was of more than secondary importance to America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The central theme of this volume is the question "to what extent did it make a difference to those living in the colonies that made up British North America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that they were part of an empire and that the empire in question was British?" The contributors, some of the leading scholars in their respective fields, strive to answer this question in various social, political, religious, and historical contexts.

THE AGE OF REASON - Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology (Including "The Life of Thomas Paine")

By Thomas Paine
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : e-artnow
  • Book Code : 8026865855
  • Total of Pages : 870
  • Category : Religion
  • Members : 727
  • Pdf File: the-age-of-reason-investigation-of-true-and-fabulous-theology.pdf

Book Short Summary:

This carefully crafted ebook: "THE AGE OF REASON - Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology (Including "The Life of Thomas Paine")" is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. The Age of Reason is an influential work by Thomas Paine that follows in the tradition of eighteenth-century British deism, and challenges institutionalized religion and the legitimacy of the Bible. It presents common deistic arguments; for example, it highlights what Paine saw as corruption of the Christian Church and criticizes its efforts to acquire political power. Paine advocates reason in the place of revelation, leading him to reject miracles and to view the Bible as "an ordinary piece of literature rather than as a divinely inspired text". It promotes natural religion and argues for the existence of a creator-God. The Age of Reason is divided into three sections. In Part I, Paine outlines his major arguments and personal creed. In Parts II and III he analyzes specific portions of the Bible in order to demonstrate that it is not the revealed word of God. Most of Paine's arguments had long been available to the educated elite, but by presenting them in an engaging and irreverent style, he made deism appealing and accessible to a mass audience. Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was an English-American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary. One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, he authored the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, and he inspired the rebels in 1776 to declare independence from Britain. Paine's ideas reflected Enlightenment-era rhetoric of transnational human rights.

The Politics of the Sacred in America

By Anthony Squiers
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Springer
  • Book Code : 3319688707
  • Total of Pages : 181
  • Category : Political Science
  • Members : 354
  • Pdf File: the-politics-of-the-sacred-in-america.pdf

Book Short Summary:

This book provides a comprehensive investigation of the political dimensions of civil religion in the United States. By employing an original social-psychological theory rooted in semiotics, it offers a qualitative and quantitative empirical examination of more than fifty years of political rhetoric. Further, it presents two in-depth case studies that examine how the cultural, totemic sign of ‘the Founding Fathers’ and the signs of America’s sacred texts (the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence) are used in attempts to link partisan policy positions with notions that the country collectively holds sacred. The book’s overarching thesis is that America’s civil religion serves as a discursive framework for the country’s politics of the sacred, mediating the demands of particularistic interests and social solidarity through the interaction of social belief and institutional politics like elections and the Supreme Court. The book penetrates America’s unique political religiosity to reveal and unravel the intricate ways in which politics, political institutions, religion and culture intertwine in the United States.

The Founding Fathers, Education, and "The Great Contest"

By B. Justice
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Springer
  • Book Code : 1137271027
  • Total of Pages : 279
  • Category : Education
  • Members : 592
  • Pdf File: the-founding-fathers-education-and-the-great-contest.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Leading historians provide new insights into the founding generation's views on the place of public education in America. This volume explores enduring themes, such as gender, race, religion, and central vs. local control, in seven essays of the 1790s on how to implement public education in the new USA. The original essays are included as well.

The Future of Religion in American Politics

By Charles Dunn
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : University Press of Kentucky
  • Book Code : 081312929X
  • Total of Pages : 288
  • Category : Political Science
  • Members : 629
  • Pdf File: the-future-of-religion-in-american-politics.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Should parents receive vouchers to send their children to religious schools? What limits—if any—should the government place on abortion? Should the government permit and fund stem cell research? Should religious organizations have the right to prohibit the employment of homosexuals? Should public schools teach both creationism and evolution? How does religion influence our political stances on gay marriage? The death penalty? Immigration? The issues are real. The emotions are intense. The solutions are difficult to reach and often problematic. From the White House to the courthouse, from governors’ mansions to the United States Supreme Court, religion factors into many contemporary legal controversies. Efforts to establish the proper balance between church and state create heated debates in America and raise seemingly insoluble questions. Politicians and their advisers walk a fine line when addressing religious issues in an increasingly pluralistic society where religious factions attempt to impose their values on the electoral and legislative processes. The Future of Religion in American Politics presents thoughtful, wide-ranging essays by twelve eminent public intellectuals and scholars, offering rich and stimulating views on one of the most divisive issues of our time. Editor Charles W. Dunn and the contributors assess the impact of religion on American politics in four distinct time periods: the founding, the Civil War, the New Deal era, and the modern era. Dunn out lines seven propositions that characterize the interaction of religion and politics during these time periods and describes how and why religion continues to influence politics in America. Contributors to this volume argue that whereas religion in the founding era held society together in a shared belief of the biblical portrayal of humanity, today’s pluralistic religious interpretations of God appear to be tearing society apart. The rise of Islam and other world religions poses perplexing questions about the issue of tolerance. Can America survive as a free society without commonly accepted morals that are based in religion? Is America a secular society with a clear separation of church and state, or a government created and informed by ever-changing religious values? The Future of Religion in American Politics includes essays about religion in the public square, evangelical, and faith-based politics in presidential elections. The authors investigate many thought–provoking questions about the extent of religious influence in the U.S. government today and its likely impact in the future. Lucid and accessible, this book covers a wide range of issues and will be invaluable to students of politics, religious studies, and history.

Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic

By Mark David Hall
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Book Code : 0199929858
  • Total of Pages : 416
  • Category : Religion
  • Members : 445
  • Pdf File: roger-sherman-and-the-creation-of-the-american-republic.pdf

Book Short Summary:

One of leading figures of his day, Roger Sherman was a member of the five-man committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence and an influential delegate at the Constitutional Convention. As a Representative and Senator in the new republic, he had a hand in determining the proper scope of the national government's power as well as drafting the Bill of Rights. In Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic, Mark David Hall explores Sherman's political theory and shows how it informed his many contributions to America's founding. A close examination of Sherman's religious beliefs provides insight into how those beliefs informed his political actions. Hall shows that Sherman, like many founders, was influenced by Calvinist political thought, a tradition that played a role in the founding generation's opposition to Great Britain, and led them to develop political institutions designed to prevent corruption, promote virtue, and protect rights. Contrary to oft-repeated assertions that the founders advocated a strictly secular policy, Hall argues persuasively that most founders believed Christianity should play an important role in the new American republic.