On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding

On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding

3.3 3
by Michael Novak
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1893554686

ISBN-13: 9781893554689

Pub. Date: 04/28/2003

Publisher: Encounter Books

The leaders of the American Revolution, unlike the leaders of the French Revolution, did not set out to erase religion. Indeed, the very first act of the Continental Congress was to pray to Divine Providence in the face of the British bombardment of Boston. In establishing a new model of self-government, the Founders believed that they were not only acting according

Overview

The leaders of the American Revolution, unlike the leaders of the French Revolution, did not set out to erase religion. Indeed, the very first act of the Continental Congress was to pray to Divine Providence in the face of the British bombardment of Boston. In establishing a new model of self-government, the Founders believed that they were not only acting according to reason and common sense, but also obeying a religious duty. Benjamin Franklin proposed as their motto: "Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God." In telling the story of the forgotten -- if not deliberately ignored -- role of faith in America's beginnings, Michael Novak probes the innermost religious conviction of Washington, Jefferson, Madison and other Founders. He shows that while the American eagle could not have taken flight without the empirical turn of mind embodied in John Locke's teaching on the ends of government and the consent of the governed, the men who made America also believed that liberty depends as much on faith as on reason. In the course of his illustrious career. Michael Novak has written several prize-winning books on theology and philosophy. With On Two Wings he has created a profound meditation on American history, and on human nature and destiny as well.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781893554689
Publisher:
Encounter Books
Publication date:
04/28/2003
Edition description:
Expanded
Pages:
218
Sales rank:
771,196
Product dimensions:
6.08(w) x 8.92(h) x 0.79(d)

Table of Contents

Preface: The Forgotten One Hundred1
Chapter 1Jewish Metaphysics at the Founding3
Hebrew Metaphysics8
Seven Events that Revealed the Power of the Second Wing13
Summation24
Chapter 2Two Beat as One: Plain Reason, Humble Faith25
What is Faith?27
The Added Lift of Faith39
Political Corollaries43
The Most Precarious Regime46
Chapter 3Immoral Man, Moral Society, Religious Liberty49
A Whip in the Mouth52
The Massachusetts Way--Virtue in Community61
Establishment, No--Pillars, Yes65
The Corruptibility of Liberty70
If You Can Keep It72
Chapter 4A Religious Theory of Rights75
The Concept of Dignity77
Zuckert's Exposition of Jefferson79
The Logic of Liberty85
A Religious Interpretation of the Founding90
Chapter 5Ten Questions About the Founding97
1.You Wouldn't Pray to "Nature's God," Would You?99
2.Wasn't the Religion of the Founders Merely Utilitarian?101
3."Common Sense" and "Faith" Have Many Meanings, No?106
4.When and Why Did Legal Elites Become Hostile to Religion?110
5.Does the Logic of the Founding Lead Inexorably to Relativism?113
6.Is "Faith" the Same as "Natural Theology"?116
7.Does America Subordinate Religion?117
8.Why Do Scholars Today Clip "The Second Wing"?120
9.If Aquinas Was the First Whig, Why Did a Regime of Religious Liberty Appear So Late?120
10.What Is Your Favorite Story from the Founding?123
Epilogue: How Did the Virginians Ground Religious Rights?125
AppendixThe Forgotten Founders143
A Secular Hurrah!147
Sherman, Williams, Williamson, R. T. Paine, Paca, Morris147
Alexander Hamilton149
Princeton's John Witherspoon151
Livingston, King, and Henry152
Rush, Dickinson, and Wilson153
The Three Catholic Cousins158
George Mason160
Thomas Paine162
John Adams165
Benjamin Franklin173
The Price They Paid175
Acknowledgments177
Notes181
Bibliography243
Index260

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