Friday, 19 April 2013

Last Day of Class

Today is the last day of class for the spring semester and the academic year. It has been a good semester and I have enjoyed teaching my two courses this semester on "Modern Christian Thought" and "The Faiths of the Founding Fathers."

For the latter course, I am happy with my choices of Frank Lambert's The Founding Fathers and Place of Religion in America, Matthew Harris's and Thomas Kidd's The Founding Fathers and the Debate Over Religion in Revolutionary America, Steven Waldman's Founding Faith, and Daniel Dreisbach's, Mark David Hall's, and Jeffry Morrison's The Forgotten Founders on Religion and Public Life as the required textbooks.

For a course on the Founding Fathers and religion, I think that the Dreisbach, Hall, and Morrison book is essential as it helps students to understand that there were several important Founding Fathers and Mothers besides Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, and Washington. Most of the essays are well written, concise, and informative. Overall, I am happy with Waldman's Founding Faith, but I am convinced that there is still room for improvement on the subject of the best-known Founding Fathers and religion. If I ever teach this course again, I would consider having all the students read biographies on Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, and Washington and then write a paper on a "Forgotten Founder."

With four months of break ahead of me, I plan on fine-tuning my fall courses on "Jonathan Edwards's Life, Thought, and Legacy in American Religious Culture" and "Religion in American Life," and working on some journal articles as well as my next book project.

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