Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Den Hartog: "Religion and the Founding, 2014 edition"

Jonathan Den Hartog on the book in which he participated along with some other familiar names here. The book is here. A taste:
In the introduction, the editors speak of their desire to "expand the conversation" about how to understand multiple religious beliefs acting in multiple ways during the founding era (6). On one hand, this means moving beyond the simple binaries of Christian orthodoxy/Deistic secularism that often get presented as the only options for understanding the founding. On the other, they strongly argue that religion for the founders cannot be understood simply through the lens of  "the Big 6": Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and Franklin. Rather, many other founders who also played important roles--and the groups in which they were enmeshed--need to be considered. To advance this two-fold strategy, the essays in the volume are divided in half, with the first eight essays examining how religion interacted in multiple ways with the political culture of the founding and with the last five examining other important founders whose religious commitments shed light on the complexity of religion in the founding.

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