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The Founders on God and Government

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0742522794
ISBN-10: 0742522792
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Editorial Reviews


This fine book belongs on the small shelf of required books of anyone who wishes to understand the religious roots of our American republic. With careful attention to the massive scholarship bearing on the subject, it concisely and elegantly makes the argument that religion does matter to the Founding, and it explains the scope and central importance of religious liberty for leading actors in that great drama. Incisive, a good read, warmly recommended. (Sandoz, G. Ellis)

The Founders and God were often inseparable, despite the tenor of much modern scholarship. This volume does an excellent job of bringing them back togetherrrrr (Donald Drakeman)

Written by eminent scholars of law, politics, and history, this edited collection of insightful essays examines the vital role of Christianity in the political thought and deeds of influential founding fathers. The Founders on God and Government paints rich biographical portraits of the most famous founders (George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin) and several of the not-so-famous founders (George Mason, James Wilson, John Witherspoon, and the Catholic Carroll family of Maryland). These engaging profiles explore how religion informed the values, political philosophies, and public deeds of these statesmen. The reader gains from these portraits an intimate acquaintance with the subjects and the times in which they lived. This book is essential reading for all citizens who want to understand religion's inestimable contribution to the great American experiment in political self-government and liberty under the law. (National Liberty Journal)

If the editors of this collection intended it to redress an imbalance resulting from neglect of the founders' religious beliefs, it succeeds...if they hoped to stimulate additional scholarship on the complex interrelationships between sources of the founders' religious beliefs and their political theories, we may hope it will succeed. (The Virginia Magazine Of History And Biography)

Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above. (Choice)

What is the proper relationship between religion and politics in America? This question has been debated from the earliest colonists to contemporary politicians. Certainly during my 30 years in the U.S. Senate there were few issues more contentious than those involving religion and politics.The Founders on God and Government sheds important light on the influence of Christianity on the political thoughts and actions of nine of the most important Founders. Because of the influence these men had on America's constitutional order, this collection should be read by anyone concerned about the proper relationship between religion and politics today. (Mark O. Hatfield)

The Founders and God were often inseparable, despite the tenor of much modern scholarship. This volume does an excellent job of bringing them back together (Donald Drakeman)

McGarvie's One Nation Under Law is the most innovative recent study of church-state relations in the early republic. (Journal Of The Early Republic)

About the Author

Daniel L. Dreisbach is professor of justice, law, and society at American University, and author of Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State. Mark David Hall is associate professor of political science at George Fox University, and author of The Political and Legal Philosophy of James Wilson, 1742-1798. Jeffry H. Morrison is currently James Madison Visiting Fellow in the Department of Politics at Princeton University, and associate professor of government at Regent University; he is author of the forthcoming John Witherspoon and the Founding of the American Republic.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (September 24, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742522792
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742522794
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,650,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This compilation of several essays, each taking a detailed look at a different member of the American founding, is a great resource for the student of American history. One of the great debates in the classroom today is the level of importance that the Founding Fathers wanted religion to play in the role of the new American government. With the aid of several leading scholars, the reader comes to the conclusion that the vast majority of the founders held Christian ideals in high regard, and thus it is only expected to conclude that Christianity was important to the founding, a point that has been debated to a great degree in recent years. I was fortunate enough to take a course taught by one of the editors of the volume, and the role of this text was invaluable to the learning experience in the course. For anyone who wants to understand how religion influenced nine important members of the American founding, "The Founders on God and Government" is for you.
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