Faiths of the Founding Fathers

ISBN-10: 0195300920
ISBN-13: 9780195300925
Edition: 2006
Authors: David L. Holmes
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $20.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 5/1/2006
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 240
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

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 individualbeliefs 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, GeorgeWashington, 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 oftoday'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.

Religion in the American Colonies in 1770
The Anglican tradition and the Virginia founding fathers
The enlightenment religion of Deism
The founding fathers and Deism
The religious views of Benjamin Franklin
The religious views of George Washington
The religious views of John Adams
The religious views of Thomas Jefferson
The religious views of James Madison
The religious views of James Monroe
The wives and daughters of the founding fathers
A layperson's guide to distinguishing a Deist from an orthodox Christian
Three orthodox Christians
The past is a foreign country

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