The Faiths of the Founding Fathers Pdf

The Faiths of the Founding Fathers

Number of page: 240
Author: David L. Holmes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199740963
Category: Biography & Autobiography

It is not uncommon to hear Christians argue that America was founded as a Christian nation. But how true is this claim
In this compact book, David L. Holmes offers a clear, concise and illuminating look at the spiritual beliefs of our founding fathers. He begins with an informative account of the religious culture of the late colonial era, surveying the religious groups in each colony. In particular, he sheds light on the various forms of Deism that flourished in America, highlighting the profound influence this intellectual movement had on the founding generation. Holmes then examines the individual beliefs of a variety of men and women who loom large in our national history. He finds that some, like Martha Washington, Samuel Adams, John Jay, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson’s daughters, held orthodox Christian views. But many of the most influential figures, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John and Abigail Adams, Jefferson, James and Dolley Madison, and James Monroe, were believers of a different stripe. Respectful of Christianity, they admired the ethics of Jesus, and believed that religion could play a beneficial role in society. But they tended to deny the divinity of Christ, and a few seem to have been agnostic about the very existence of God. Although the founding fathers were religious men, Holmes shows that it was a faith quite unlike the Christianity of today’s evangelicals. Holmes concludes by examining the role of religion in the lives of the presidents since World War II and by reflecting on the evangelical resurgence that helped fuel the reelection of George W. Bush. An intriguing look at a neglected aspect of our history, the book will appeal to American history buffs as well as to anyone concerned about the role of religion in American culture.

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About The Author

David L. Holmes is Walter G. Mason Professor of Religious Studies at the College of William and Mary. He is the author of A Brief History of the Episcopal Church, A Nation Mourns, other books, and numerous articles.


  • nyambolnyambol
    LibraryThing Review Good, well-researched account of a selected number of important figures of the period and how they related both to church and to religion. Makes judgements based on the known behaviors, letters and
  • vpflukevpfluke
    LibraryThing Review I found this a fascinating book. David Holmes has done quite well disentangling the religious stances of the founding fathers of the United States. There are many today who believe that all of them
  • anthony r atilesanthony r atiles
    Misleading. Anyone interested in knowing what the Founding Fathers really believed should research or google the the names of those men and the letters that they wrote, which are still around and
  • Not AvailableNot Available
    The faiths of the founding fathers In this short but dynamic study, we are thrust back to 1770s America to look at the culture and religion of six of the Founding Fathers. Holmes (religious studies, Coll. of William and Mary;A Brief
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