The Faiths of the Founding Fathers

The Faiths of the Founding Fathers

Book - 2006
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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 shedslight 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, likeMartha 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, werebelievers 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 thefounding 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 thereelection 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.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2006.
ISBN: 9780195300925
0195300920
Branch Call Number: 200.973
Characteristics: x, 225 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.

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naturalist
Jul 16, 2015

“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind, and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect." James Madison (1751-1836) [Letter to William Bradford Jr. April 1 1774]

LRS1969 Feb 11, 2015

One of the absolutely BEST books on this subject.

It's only downside is in NOT covering more of the pertinent of the Founding Fathers, rather than a focus on a core group that were primarily political ones.

Should be required reading by EVERY right-wing Tea Party type, self-proclaimed right-wing "patriot" and fundamentalist Christian!!!

I can not recommended it highly enough!

(Especially to "Christian Patriot" groups such as the statewide and local branch "Liberty Coalition" organization and their members, including those of the State's Republican Party Central Committee!)

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