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.
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
"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."
"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."--Mark Noll