The forgotten founders on religion and public life /
edited by Daniel L. Dreisbach, Mark David Hall, and Jeffry H. Morrison ; foreword by Mark A. Noll.
Notre Dame, In. : University of Notre Dame Press, c2009.
xxi, 316 p.
0268026025 (pbk. : alk. paper), 9780268026028 (pbk. : alk. paper)
More Details
Notre Dame, In. : University of Notre Dame Press, c2009.
0268026025 (pbk. : alk. paper)
9780268026028 (pbk. : alk. paper)
contents note
Famous founders and forgotten founders : what's the difference, and does the difference matter? / Daniel L. Dreisbach -- The way of duty : Abigail Adams and religion / Edith B. Gelles -- Samuel Adams : America's Puritan revolutionary / Gary Scott Smith -- Oliver Ellsworth's Calvinist vision of church and state in the early republic / William R. Casto -- Alexander Hamilton, theistic rationalist / Gregg L. Frazer -- Patrick Henry, religious liberty, and the search for civic virtue / Thomas E. Buckley, S.J. -- John Jay and the "great plan of Providence" / Jonathan Den Hartog -- Thomas Paine's civil religion of reason / David J. Voelker -- Anglican moderation : religion and the political thought of Edmund Randolph -- Kevin R. Hardwick -- Benjamin Rush and revolutionary christian reform / Robert H. Abzug -- Roger Sherman : an old Puritan in a new nation / Mark David Hall -- Mercy Otis Warren on church and state / Rosemarie Zagarri.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Daniel L. Dreisbach is professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University. Mark David Hall is the Herbert Hoover Distinguished Professor of Political Science at George Fox University. Jeffry H. Morrison is associate professor of government at Regent University.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-05-01:
Following The Founders on God and Government (CH, Dec'05, 43-2139; same editors), these essays focus on important Revolutionary generation individuals' little-known views on religion and society. Arguing that historians and the Supreme Court give too much significance to the religious writings of Madison, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, and Washington, these essays concentrate on the impact of the religious perspectives of now-neglected founding fathers and mothers, including religious radicals Tom Paine and Benjamin Rush; the devout Roger Sherman, Oliver Ellsworth, John Jay, Sam Adams, and (in late life) Alexander Hamilton; and the moderate Edmund Randolph, Patrick Henry, Abigail Adams, and Mercy Warren. All supported religious liberty and stressed the close ties between religious beliefs and morality necessary for republican government. Articles feature a brief biography, description of subjects' religious beliefs, and analysis of ideas about churches' value in public life. Although several authors insist they are not writing for the current church/state debates, this book will provide evidence for those supporting accommodation rather than strict separation. All essays are well researched and worthwhile. Most valuable is William Casto's on Ellsworth, which demonstrates that Senate and House conferees on the First Amendment did not agree and so finessed rather than clarified the major issues. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers. J. W. Frost emeritus, Swarthmore College
Review Quotes
"Why does the Constitution assume a Creator without referring to Him explicitly, as does the Declaration of Independence? The Forgotten Founders on Religion and Public Life. . . is a fount of scholarly information about who believed what and whose beliefs changed. Alexander Hamilton, for example, moved from theistic rationalism to his deathbed statement: "I am a sinner: I look to . . . the mercy of the almighty, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ." -- World
"The volume is engaging, informative, and valuable with thoughtful explorations of how all of these figures desired the same thing for America--the preservation of right and liberties but strove for them based on various religious principles. Because these people are little known, each essay naturally begins with a brief biography and their credentials. Some authors helpfully describe the historiography of the subjects before they progress to a discussion of their religiously informed political contributions." -- Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
"A surprisingly cosmopolitan meshing of different views (including contrasting opinions on just how much of a role religion should have in the public domain) evolves, in this excellent effort to assemble a depth and breadth of thought to reveal precisely how America's founders viewed the church and the state." -- The Midwest Book Review
"Following The Founders on God and Government, these essays focus on important Revolutionary generation individuals' little-known views on religion and society. . . . Articles feature a brief biography, description of subjects' religious beliefs, and analysis of ideas about churches' value in public life. . . . All essays are well researched and worthwhile. Most valuable is William Casto's on Ellsworth, which demonstrates that Senate and House conferees on the First Amendment did not agree and so finessed rather than clarified the major issues." -- Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 2010
Reference & Research Book News, August 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
Essays include: Foreword by Mark A. Noll; an introductory essay by Daniel L. Dreisbach; Edith B. Gelles on Abigail Adams; Gary Scott Smith on Samuel Adams; William R. Casto on Oliver Ellsworth; Gregg L. Frazer on Alexander Hamilton; Thomas E. Buckley, S J., on Patrick Henry; Jonathan Den Hartog on John Jay; David J. Voelker on Thomas Paine; Kevin R. Hardwick on Edmund Randolph; Robert H. Abzug on Benjamin Rush; Mark David Hall on Roger Sherman; and Rosemarie Zagarri on Mercy Otis Warren. Book jacket.
Main Description
This interdisciplinary volume brings together essays on eleven of the founders of the American republic--Abigail Adams, Samuel Adams, Oliver Ellsworth, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry, John Jay, Thomas Paine, Edmund Randolph, Benjamin Rush, Roger Sherman, and Mercy Otis Warren--many of whom are either little recognized today or little appreciated for their contributions. The essays focus on the thinking of these men and women on the proper role of religion in public life, including but not limited to the question of the separation of church and state. Their views represent a wide range of opinions, from complete isolation of church and state to tax-supported clergy. These essays present a textured and nuanced view of the society that came to a consensus on how religion would fit in the public life of the new nation. They reveal that religion was more important in the lives and thinking of many of the founders than is often portrayed and that it took the interplay of disparate and contrasting views to frame the constitutional outline that eventually emerged. "For more than a decade these three editors, separately and together, have led us to a more nuanced view of the central place of religion in the American founding era. Not only were the political views of famous founders like Adams, Jefferson, and Madison more dependent on religion than their modern secular caricature allows. But many other figures, from varying religious traditions, proved equally critical to forging the original American understanding of constitutional order, democratic liberty, and rule of law. This well-crafted volume introduces a dozen such founding figures and the sterling political accomplishments that they offered the young nation on the strength of their religious convictions." -- John Witte, Jr., Emory University "This excellent collection explores the rich diversity of the American mind at the Founding by attending to the spiritual, political, and intellectual convictions of a dozen men and women prominent in the events of that seminal period but relatively neglected by the historians. It fills a major gap left In the literature with its conventional fixation on the life and work of a handful of luminaries. In doing so, it takes seriously the role of religion in grounding devotion to Whig liberty and common law constitutionalism to form a popular consensus that has endured from 1776 until today. Highly readable and thoroughly sourced, this is a book for anyone interested in American history and politics." -- Ellis Sandoz, Moyse Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Louisiana State University "This collection of well-crafted essays probes the "religion and the founding" question from a fresh angle. Its concentration on the second rank of founders pays rich dividends, since this focus uncovers more variety on religious issues than appear when looking only at the "Big Six" of Washington-Franklin-John Adams-Madison-Hamilton-Jefferson. The pay off is to show not only how deep but also how various were the founders' religious commitments. Historians, but also those concerned about religion in contemporary American politics, should take note--the editors have done a very fine job." -- Mark Noll, University of Notre Dame "There is no book comparable to The Forgotten Founders on Religion and Public Life. It is a collection of eleven essays on the many neglected figures or, in some cases, the neglected church-state views of duly appreciated figures. The book's appeal goes beyond the realm of constitutional doctrine. In addition to constitutional lawyers, constitutional historians, historians of religion in America, and those who study American political thought will all welcome and value the book." -- Gerard V. Bradley, University of Notre Dame Law School
Table of Contents
Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xiii
Famous Founders and Forgotten Founders: What's the Difference, and Does the Difference Matter?p. 1
The Way of Duty: Abigail Adams and Religionp. 26
Samuel Adams: America's Puritan Revolutionaryp. 40
Oliver Ellsworth's Calvinist Vision of Church and State in the Early Republicp. 65
Alexander Hamilton, Theistic Rationalistp. 101
Patrick Henry, Religious Liberty, and the Search for Civic Virtuep. 125
John Jay and the "Great Plan of Providence"p. 145
Thomas Paine's Civil Religion of Reasonp. 171
Anglican Moderation; Religion and the Political Thought of Edmund Randolphp. 196
Benjamin Rush and Revolutionary Christian Reformp. 220
Roger Sherman: An Old Puritan in a New Nationp. 248
Mercy Otis Warren on Church and Statep. 278
For Further Readingp. 295
Contributorsp. 304
Indexp. 306
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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