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The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America
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The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  39 ratings  ·  4 reviews

How did the United States, founded as colonies with explicitly religious aspirations, come to be the first modern state whose commitment to the separation of church and state was reflected in its constitution? Frank Lambert explains why this happened, offering in the process a synthesis of American history from the first British arrivals through Thomas Jefferson's controve
Paperback, 328 pages
Published March 19th 2006 by Princeton University Press (first published 2003)
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Excellent work, with one exception...Dr. Lambert does not provide adequate attention to the impact of theological unitarianism in his review of the faiths of the main Founding Fathers. How can you discuss this topic and only mention Dr./Rev. Joseph Priestly only twice? But other than this oversight, this is a very good piece of scholarship. Some of the quotations he provides are typically not found in these types of books and they are very illuminating. The author clearly understands American hi ...more
Haven Gordon
This was required reading material for my class at UNCG. It gives a pretty good description about religions' place in American history. Separation of church and state really come under close scrutiny here. Many early Americans were deeply religious and wanted religion to be highlighted in the making of the United States and the writing of the Constitution. However, the founding fathers were Deists and believed that there should be a wall between politics and religion much to the colonists dismay ...more
Earon S.
Mar 21, 2008 Earon S. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all
This book presents the historical information on the faiths of our our Founding Fathers. Rather than being Christian fundamentalists, they were mostly intellectuals trying to bring this nation beyond the squabbles and violent clashes between different religious groups.

Diesm was most popular among these enlightened peacemakers, which held that God created earth, but that our religious texts and supernatural beliefs did not make sense. Jefferson crafter his own bible by assembling the words of Je
Learned a lot. Some what tough to read because of the old English grammar
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“By their actions, the Founding Fathers made clear that their primary concern was religious freedom, not the advancement of a state religion. Individuals, not the government, would define religious faith and practice in the United States. Thus the Founders ensured that in no official sense would America be a Christian Republic. Ten years after the Constitutional Convention ended its work, the country assured the world that the United States was a secular state, and that its negotiations would adhere to the rule of law, not the dictates of the Christian faith. The assurances were contained in the Treaty of Tripoli of 1797 and were intended to allay the fears of the Muslim state by insisting that religion would not govern how the treaty was interpreted and enforced. John Adams and the Senate made clear that the pact was between two sovereign states, not between two religious powers.” 2 likes
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