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The Founders and the Bible
by Carl J. Richard


Overview - The religious beliefs of America's founding fathers have been a popular and contentious subject for recent generations of American readers. In The Founders and the Bible, historian Carl J. Richard carefully examines the framers' relationship with the Bible to assess the conflicting claims of those who argue that they were Christians founding a Christian nation against those who see them as Deists or modern secularists.  Read more...

 
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More About The Founders and the Bible by Carl J. Richard
 
 
 
Overview
The religious beliefs of America's founding fathers have been a popular and contentious subject for recent generations of American readers. In The Founders and the Bible, historian Carl J. Richard carefully examines the framers' relationship with the Bible to assess the conflicting claims of those who argue that they were Christians founding a Christian nation against those who see them as Deists or modern secularists. Richard argues that it is impossible to understand the Founders without understanding the Biblically infused society that produced them. They were steeped in a biblical culture that pervaded their schools, homes, churches, and society. To show the fundamental role of religious beliefs during the Founding and early years of the republic, Richard carefully reconstructs the beliefs of 30 Founders; their lifelong engagements with Scripture; their biblically-infused political rhetoric; their powerful beliefs in a divine Providence that protected them and guided the young nation; their beliefs in the superiority of Christian ethics and in the necessity of religion to republican government; their beliefs in spiritual equality, free will, and the afterlife; their religious differences; the influence of their biblical conception of human nature on their formulation of state and federal constitutions; and their use of biblical precedent to advance religious freedom.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781442254640
  • ISBN-10: 1442254645
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
  • Publish Date: March 2016
  • Page Count: 396
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds


Related Categories

Books > History > United States - Revolutionary War
Books > Religion > Religion, Politics & State
Books > Religion > Christianity - History - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-06-06
  • Reviewer: Staff

In a wide-ranging look at 30 influential statesmen involved in the creation of the United States, Richard (Greeks and Romans Bearing Gifts) delves into the intense religious thought of America's founding members through a collection of their journal entries, speeches, articles, and events, intended to squelch the notion that the nation was created on atheistic or deist principles. Through the haphazardly arranged chapters, he discusses the religious milieu of the time and offers a wide and deep range of the founders' religious observations and beliefs. Though they argued over many tenets of the Bible, "all of the founders embraced the biblical concept of an omniscient, omnipotent, caring God who not only created the universe but also intervened in it," Richard writes. In some of the most striking sections, commonly held beliefs about the founder's core deism are put to the test, as when Benjamin Franklin writes: "There can be no Reason to imagine he would make so glorious a Universe merely to abandon it." Richard's extensively researched book will be a welcome addition to current scholarship about the religious beginnings of the United States, but general readers will be deterred by the meandering structure and uneven pacing. (Apr.)

 
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