The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America
By (author) Frank Lambert
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Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America by Frank Lambert
Book DescriptionHow did the United States, founded as colonies with explicitly religious aspirations, come to be the first modern state whose commitment to the separation of church and state was reflected in its constitution? Frank Lambert explains why this happened, offering in the process a synthesis of American history from the first British arrivals through Thomas Jefferson's controversial presidency. Lambert recognizes that two sets of spiritual fathers defined the place of religion in early America: what Lambert calls the Planting Fathers, who brought Old World ideas and dreams of building a "City upon a Hill," and the Founding Fathers, who determined the constitutional arrangement of religion in the new republic. While the former proselytized the "one true faith," the latter emphasized religious freedom over religious purity. Lambert locates this shift in the mid-eighteenth century. In the wake of evangelical revival, immigration by new dissenters, and population expansion, there emerged a marketplace of religion characterized by sectarian competition, pluralism, and widened choice. During the American Revolution, dissenters found sympathetic lawmakers who favored separating church and state, and the free marketplace of religion gained legal status as the Founders began the daunting task of uniting thirteen disparate colonies. To avoid discord in an increasingly pluralistic and contentious society, the Founders left the religious arena free of government intervention save for the guarantee of free exercise for all. Religious people and groups were also free to seek political influence, ensuring that religion's place in America would always be a contested one, but never a state-regulated one. An engaging and highly readable account of early American history, this book shows how religious freedom came to be recognized not merely as toleration of dissent but as a natural right to be enjoyed by all Americans.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691126029
(229mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 27-Feb-2006
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Frank Lambert
XYZ, Paperback (October 2014)
This story has a different kind of hero; a hero with a walking disability.
Religion in American Politics, Paperback (February 2010)
The delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention blocked the establishment of Christianity as a national religion. But they could not keep religion out of American politics. This title shows that religion became sectarian and partisan whenever it entered the political fray, and that religious agendas have always mixed with nonreligious ones.
Pedlar in Divinity, Paperback (November 2002)» View all books by Frank Lambert
A pioneer in the commercialization of religion, George Whitefield (1714 - 1770) is seen by many as the most powerful leader of the Great Awakening in America: through his passionate ministry he united local religious revivals into a national movement before there was a nation.
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Author Biography - Frank Lambert
Frank Lambert is Professor of History at Purdue University. He is the author of "Pedlar in Divinity" and "Inventing the "Great Awakening" (both Princeton).
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