Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Founding Fathers (Part III)

Two new books came by post the other day: The Forgotten Founders on Religion and Public Life, edited by Daniel Dreisbach, Mark David Hall, and Jeffry H. Morrison, and Founding Faith: How Our Founding Fathers Forged a Radical New Approach to Religious Liberty by Steven Waldman.

After reading dozens of books on the Founders, I've decided to adopt both books for my course on "The Faiths of the Founding Fathers" (in addition to the books by Lambert, Kidd and Harris). I'm replacing Brooke Allen's Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers with Waldman's book, which covers the religion of the five leading Founders: Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison as well as providing some contextual chapters. The Forgotten Fathers supplements the faith of the leading Founders by providing chapters on the religion of Abigail Adams, Samuel Adams, Oliver Ellsworth, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry, John Jay, Thomas Paine, Edmund Randolph, Benjamin Rush, Roger Sherman, and Mercy Otis Warren. I was, however, surprised that John Witherspoon was not included in the volume, especially since Jeffry Morrison has written a monograph on Witherspoon's political thought.

I look forward to teaching this course next spring.

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