The Founding Fathers and the Debate over Religion in Revolutionary America: A History in Documents

Paperback | October 17, 2011

EditorMatthew Harris, Thomas Kidd

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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 textsincluded 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. In their personal beliefs, the Founders ranged from profound skeptics like Thomas Paine to traditional Christians like Patrick Henry. Nevertheless, most of the Founding Fathers rallied around certain crucial religious principles, including the idea that people were "created" equal, the belief thatreligious freedom required the disestablishment of state-backed denominations, the necessity of virtue in a republic, and the role of Providence in guiding the affairs of nations. Harris and Kidd show that through the struggles of war and the framing of the Constitution, Americans sought toreconcile their dedication to religious vitality with their commitment to religious freedom.

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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 textsincluded in this volume - writings and speeches ...

Matthew L. Harris is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Graduate Program in History at Colorado State University-Pueblo. Thomas S. Kidd is Associate Professor of History at Baylor University and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Studies of Religion. He is the author of God of Liberty: A Religious History of the Ameri...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:206 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:October 17, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195326504

ISBN - 13:9780195326505

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Table of Contents

IntroductionThe Founding Fathers and Religion1. Religion and the Continental Congress2. Religion and State3. Constitution and Ratification4. Religion and the Federal Government5. Disestablishment and the Separation of Church and State6. The Founding Fathers' Own Views on ReligionSelect Bibliography