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The Founding Fathers and the Debate over Religion in Revolutionary America
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The Founding Fathers and the Debate over Religion in Revolutionary America: A History in Documents

Matthew Harris and Thomas Kidd

Abstract

Whether America was founded as a Christian nation or as a secular republic is one of the most fiercely debated questions in American history. This book offers an examination of the essential documents needed to understand this debate. The texts included in this volume—writings and speeches from both well-known and obscure early American thinkers—show that religion played a prominent yet fractious role in the era of the American Revolution. In their personal beliefs, the Founders ranged from profound skeptics like Thomas Paine to traditional Christians like Patrick Henry. Nevertheless, most of ... More

Keywords: America, Christianity, secularism, writings, speeches, religion, American Revolution, Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, Founding Fathers

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780195326499
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326499.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matthew Harris, editor
Colorado State University-Pueblo

Thomas Kidd, editor
Baylor University

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Contents

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Introduction The Founding Fathers and Religion

Matthew L. Harris, and Thomas S. Kidd

Chapter 1 Religion and the Continental Congress

Matthew L. Harris, and Thomas S. Kidd

Chapter 2 Religion and State Governments

Matthew L. Harris, and Thomas S. Kidd

Chapter 3 Constitution and Ratification

Matthew L. Harris, and Thomas S. Kidd

Chapter 4 Religion and the Federal Government

Matthew L. Harris, and Thomas S. Kidd

Chapter 6 The Founding Fathers’ Own Views on Religion

Matthew L. Harris, and Thomas S. Kidd