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

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Overview


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.
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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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780664235048
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
  • Publication date: 2/16/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 684,576
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2012

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