Sworn on the Altar of God: A Religious Biography of Thomas Jefferson (Library of Religious Biography)
This acclaimed biography explores the religious life of Thomas Jefferson and the contribution his strident commitment to religious liberty made to the formation of the nation. Renowned historian Edwin Gaustad chronicles Jefferson's intellectual growth, paying particular attention both to Jefferson's private struggle to come to grips with his own faith and to his public rol...more
Paperback, 260 pages
Published January 3rd 1996 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
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Gaustad's work is a very balanced and insightful analysis of Jefferson's religious views. Those who wish to categorize Jefferson as merely an Enlightenment thinker must come to grips with the seriousness of his religious passion. His belief in God shaped everything about his life. Nevertheless, those who wish to claim Jefferson as an evangelical will be devastated by the copious quotations Gaustad provides from Jefferson's extensive correspondence. In some ways Jefferson was no deist: he believe...more
Very good survey of Jefferson's views on religion, especially his complete rejection of religion binding itself to government. TJ was a deist or Unitarian. He very much believed that religion was the basis of morality and believed MUCH in reason as an important determinant in evaluating religion -- even creating his own version of the gospels by literally cutting out miracles & metaphysical statements. He is spinning in his grave now.
Thomas Jefferson was completely for the seperation of Church and state. I have summed up the book. 200+ pages all proving the same thing. It was interesting in the very beginning, became slightly repetitious towards the middle, but the ending again became interesting. I enjoyed the book and the look at Jefferson's religious views; something he kept very private during his lifetime.