Forgotten Features Of The Founding

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Overview

Forgotten Features of the Founding: The Recovery of Religious Themes in the Early American Republic explores the deep significance of previously neglected religious themes in the Founding Era. James Hutson convincingly argues that without understanding these themes, it is impossible to comprehend the religious mentality of that period. Among the themes elucidated and explored are the doctrine of the future state of rewards and punishments, the civil magistrate's idealized role as the nursing father, and the conception of rights as moral powers grounded in religion. Hutson's work challenges current scholarship on the Founding Era, which often downplays the importance of Christian ideals in the formation of the United States government. Forgotten Features of the Founding is a must-read for scholars of American history and those interested in the role of religion in American life.
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Editorial Reviews

Journal Of Church and State
Forgotten Features of the Founding confirms that the author is among the most astute students of religion in early American political and legal culture. Few scholars writing today are more familiar with, or make better use of, the primary documents of the founding era than James Hutson. Drawing on his vast knowledge of both primary sources and the most current scholarship, he offers new insights into old controversies and challenges readers to reconsider long held assumptions. . . . These original, provocative, and learned essays are a valuable addition to the literature on the diverse influences that shaped the American founding. This perceptive work is highly recommended for specialist and nonspecialist readers alike.
Daniel Dreisbach
"This collection of trenchant essays confirms that James H. Hutson is the most astute scholar of religion's often neglected contributions to the American founding. Drawing on his vast knowledge of primary sources and current scholarship, Hutson offers new insights into old controversies and challenges readers to reconsider long held assumptions. This original,
provocative, and wise book is required reading for everyone interested in the religious themes of the founding era."
Journal of Church & State
Forgotten Features of the Founding confirms that the author is among the most astute students of religion in early American political and legal culture. Few scholars writing today are more familiar with, or make better use of, the primary documents of the founding era than James Hutson. Drawing on his vast knowledge of both primary sources and the most current scholarship, he offers new insights into old controversies and challenges readers to reconsider long held assumptions. . . . These original, provocative, and learned essays are a valuable addition to the literature on the diverse influences that shaped the American founding. This perceptive work is highly recommended for specialist and nonspecialist readers alike.
The Standard Reader
The essays on William Penn, James Madison, and the Founders' reading of French authors are particularly noteworthy, and Hutson's take on the use and misuse of the idea of America as a Christian nation deserves wide circulation. An important collection on an important topic.
Journal of Church and State
Forgotten Features of the Founding confirms that the author is among the most astute students of religion in early American political and legal culture. Few scholars writing today are more familiar with, or make better use of, the primary documents of the founding era than James Hutson. Drawing on his vast knowledge of both primary sources and the most current scholarship, he offers new insights into old controversies and challenges readers to reconsider long held assumptions. . . . These original, provocative, and learned essays are a valuable addition to the literature on the diverse influences that shaped the American founding. This perceptive work is highly recommended for specialist and nonspecialist readers alike.
Matthew Spalding
These penetrating, richly documented, and well-argued essays not only challenge conventional interpretations about church and state in early American history but also bring to light provocative themes and topics long overlooked—and refreshingly relevant to today's debates about the relationship of religion and politics.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739105702
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 5/7/2003
  • Pages: 210
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

James Hutson is the Chief of the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress. He received his Ph.D from Yale University and has published many well-known works on the Founding Era.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 "A Future State of Rewards and Punishment": The Founders' Formula for the Social and Political Utility of Religion 1
2 "Nursing Fathers": The Model of Church-State Relations in America from James I to Jefferson 45
3 Rights as Moral Powers: The Founders and the French Connection 73
4 The Christian Nation Question 111
5 William Penn and the American Tradition of Religious Liberty 133
6 James Madison and Religion: Radicalism Unbound 155
Bibliography 187
Index 189
About the Author 197
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