About this item
Number of Pages: 225
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Book theme: General
Author: David L Holmes
Street Date: March 1, 2006
Item Number (DPCI): 247-07-8971
"Holmes's book is a model of accesible scholarship, and though it addresses a controversial topic, it actually generates more light than heat. --Christian Century
"This is a valuable little book. It effectively challenges claims coming from both sides of the culture wars by providing a better understanding of both the various Founder's beliefs and the religious environment in which they lived." --Houston Chronicle
"Holmes offers exceptionally insightful guidelines for judging the faith of the founding fathers.... Read this elegant book."--New York Times Book Review
"Quite simply, this is the best and most clearly presented statement regarding the religious beliefs of America's founders that I have read."--Richard T. Hughes, author of Myths America Lives By
"Concise and smart.... What we come away with is a portrait of a group of men who were products of the Enlightenment and, as such, wanted above all to make faith and reason match up."--Washington Post
"A timely book that summarizes the views of the Founders and places them in proper historical context.... While the author believes that the founders' theological beliefs contain valuable lessons for contemporary society, he cautions against going too far when trying to place 18th-century views and practices into a modern context.... A first-rate guide to the past."--Claude Marx, Washington Times
"In The Faiths of the Founding Fathers, David L. Holmes confronts a great many later myths about the religious views of the revolutionary generation. One of the many excellent features of the book is that it gives neither aid nor comfort to either side in the modern culture wars. Holmes rejects simplistic views that America was created as an explicitly 'Christian Nation, ' while at the same time challenging those who imagine the Founders as rigid secularists. Instead of polemic, Holmes gives us an admirably balanced and scholarly portrait of a very diverse spiritual landscape."--Philip Jenkins, author of The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity
"The Faiths of the Founding Fathers sticks closely to the sources. When it discusses such matters as the possible return of James Madison to Christian orthodoxy in old age, it clearly labels its supposition as speculation. Its chapter on the religion of James Monroe is especially illuminating. And I agree with the book's overall assessment that the Founders were Deist-like, but not exactly."--Mark A. Noll, author of America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln
"This brief, highly readable and responsible work of scholarship will serve as a fine antidote to the pious mythology which often passes for history on this subject." --Peter W. Williams, author of America's Religions: From Their Origins to the Twenty-First Century
"An illuminating study.... Paints a balanced portrait of the various forms of Deism that existed in the minds of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and James Monroe, among others. Surveying the religious beliefs and mainline churches of the groups that settled the American Colonies, Holmes argues that the Founders respected the religious convictions of their time--an idea that conflicts with the prevailing belief that the first five presidents tended to deny the divinity of God and often followed the path of reason."--Library Journal
"Historians owe a great debt to David Holmes for laying out the Founders' religious beliefs and practices so clearly and meticulously, and for showing how significant the influence of Deism was in American prior to the upsurge in evangelicalism known as the Second Great Awakening." --H-Net Reviews
"[W]ell written, readable, and concise. Its accessible nature makes it an excellent book for undergraduates." --Journal of Faith and the Academy
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