"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
"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
Daniel L. Dreisbach is professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University. He is the author of The Founders on God and Government.
Mark David Hall is the Herbert Hoover Distinguished Professor of Political Science at George Fox University. He is the author of The Political and Legal Philosophy of James Wilson, 1742-1798.
Jeffry H. Morrison is associate professor of government at Regent University. He is the author of John Witherspoon and the Founding of the American Republic, also published by the University of Notre Dame Press.
Contributors: Daniel L. Dreisbach, Edith B. Gelles, Gary Scott Smith, William R. Casto, Grg L. Frazer, Thomas E. Buckley, S.J., Jonathan Den Hartog, David J. Voelker, Kevin R. Hardwick, Robert H. Abzug, Mark David Hall, Rosemarie Zagarri.