Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction

Paperback (Print)
Rent from BN.com
(Save 59%)
Est. Return Date: 07/21/2015
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $11.90
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 60%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (22) from $11.90   
  • New (12) from $13.50   
  • Used (10) from $11.90   


Fea offers an even-handed primer on whether America was founded to be a Christian nation, as many evangelicals assert, or a secular state, as others contend. He approaches the title's question from a historical perspective, helping readers see past the emotional rhetoric of today to the recorded facts of our past. Readers on both sides of the issues will appreciate that this book occupies a middle ground, noting the good points and the less-nuanced arguments of both sides and leading us always back to the primary sources that our shared American history comprises.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this primer on America's historical relationship to Christianity, Fea (history, Messiah Coll.; The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America) shows that the facts are much more complex than the oversimplified sound bites that litter the present political debate. He covers the history of the idea of the United States as a Christian nation, whether the American Revolution was a Christian event, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and the religious beliefs of seven key founders. As the book goes on, it becomes clear that Fea has no intention of definitively answering the question posed in the title, which may frustrate readers already committed to one side or the other. Instead, the author lays out the relevant information with all of its ambiguity and invites readers to draw their own conclusions. VERDICT Although this book is primarily intended for a Christian audience, it is a useful text for anyone seeking a balanced historical overview of a thorny question.—Brian T. Sullivan, Alfred Univ. Lib., NY
From the Publisher
"A remarkably useful guide for navigating the arguments about America's 'Christian' origins." Randall Balmer, Barnard College, author of God in the White House.

"Should be the last word for all who would claim America as a Christian nation. . . . Deserves to be widely read." Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School, coauthor of Resident Aliens (with Will Willimon) and The Peaceable Kingdom.

"Should be the last word for all who would claim America as a Christian nation. . . . Deserves to be widely read." Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School, coauthor of Resident Aliens (with Will Willimon) and The Peaceable Kingdom

"This is a timely book that will help make sense of one of the most important divides in American politics. John Fea offers a clear and balanced reinterpretation of how this debate has shaped American culture and society for more than 200 years." John Wigger, University of Missouri, author of American Saint and Taking Heaven by Storm

"Fea challenges his readers to think like historians, and presents them with the facts they need to weigh the evidence for themselves. Those who are ready to move past simplistic answers will be well served by this thought-provoking work." Mary V. Thompson, author of In the Hands of a Good Providence: Religion in the Life of George Washington

"John Fea has produced a carefully balanced and thought-provoking addition to the long-running debate about the role of religion in America's founding." Ira Stoll, author of Samuel Adams: A Life

"Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? explores this controversial question with remarkable objectivity and admirable scholarship. This is a book that every intelligent reader should have in his library." Thomas Fleming, author of The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers

"This is a book for Christians who want a credible account of how religion affected the settlement and founding of the United States." Richard Bushman, Emeritus, Columbia University, author of From Puritan to Yankee and The Refinement of America

"Informed, judicious, insightful, and genuinely delightful." Scot McKnight, North Park University; author of The Jesus Creed

"Well-researched and up-to-date, [this book] is full of timely wisdom on a topic far more complicated than many people think. If I could recommend but one source on the Christian America thesis, this would be it." Douglas A. Sweeney, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, author of The American Evangelical Story

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780664235048
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
  • Publication date: 2/16/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 811,477
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 27, 2012

    Surprisingly balanced look at the founding of our nation. It sho

    Surprisingly balanced look at the founding of our nation. It should upset the extremeists on both sides of the question. A PROFESSIONAL HISTORIAN'S WELL researched product. Please read this instead of the work of those with a political/religious axe to grind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)