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So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State

So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Todays dispute over the line between church and state (or the lack thereof) is neither the first nor the fiercest in our history. In a revelatory look at our nations birth, Forrest Church re-creates our first great culture war—a tumultuous, nearly forgotten conflict that raged from George Washingtons presidency to James Monroes. 

Religion was the most divisive issue in the nations early presidential elections. Battles raged over numerous issues while the bible and the Declaration of Independence competed for American affections. The religous political wars reached a vicious peak during the War of 1812; the American victory drove New England's Christian right to withdraw from electoral politics, thereby shaping our modern sense of church-state separation. No longer entangled, both church and state flourished.

Forrest Church has written a rich, page-turning history, a new vision of our earliest presidents beliefs that stands as a reminder and a warning for America today.

Synopsis:

A prominent expert in religion and historian of American politics examines the role established religion has played in the administrations of American presidents, from Washington to the present

Synopsis:

Todays dispute over the line between church and state (or the lack thereof) is neither the first nor the fiercest in our history. In a powerful retelling of the birth of the American body politic, religious historian Forrest Church describes our first great culture war—a tumultuous yet nearly forgotten conflict that raged from George Washingtons presidency to James Monroes. On one side of the battle, the proponents of order—Federalists, Congregationalists, New Englanders—believed that the only legitimate ruler of men is God. On the other side, the defenders of liberty—republicans, Baptists, Virginians—cheered the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, and believed that only the separation of church and state would preserve mans freedom. Would we be a nation under God, or with liberty for all?In this vigorous history, Forrest Church offers a new vision of our earliest presidents beliefs, reshaping assumptions about the debates that still reverberate across our land.

About the Author

FORREST CHURCH is currently serving his thirtieth year as minister of All Souls Church in Manhattan. He earned his doctorate in church history at Harvard and has written or edited twenty-two books, including The Separation of Church and State. He lives in New York.

Table of Contents

contents

Introduction  1

act i

george washington

1. Out of Many, One  17

2. With Liberty and Order for All  54

3. Unum Versus Pluribus  83

act ii

john adams

4. A Churchgoing Animal  117

5. Black Cockades and Tricolors  146

6. “Order Is Heavens First Law”  170

7. “The Grand Question”  187

act iii

thomas jefferson

8. The American Dreamer  223

9. “For Jefferson and Liberty”  244

10. Utopia Meets Reality  273

act iv

james madison

11. Constructing Freedoms Altar  299

12. Defending the Empire of Liberty  326

act v

james monroe

13. All for One and One for All  361

14. Considerations of Humanity  391

Epilogue  415

Appendix: Did George Washington

Say “So Help Me God”?  445

Acknowledgments  451

Endnotes  453

Bibliography  497

Index  515

Product Details

ISBN:
9780151011858
Subtitle:
The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Author:
Church, Forrest
Subject:
History
Subject:
Faith
Subject:
Christianity - General
Subject:
Presidents
Subject:
Church and state
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Christianity - History - Social Issues
Subject:
Christianity and politics -- United States.
Subject:
United States Church history 19th century.
Subject:
Religion Comparative-General
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20080908
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
540
Dimensions:
9.00 x 6.00 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » US History » Revolution and Constitution Era
Religion » Western Religions » American Religion

So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State
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Product details 540 pages Harcourt - English 9780151011858 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A prominent expert in religion and historian of American politics examines the role established religion has played in the administrations of American presidents, from Washington to the present

"Synopsis" by ,
Todays dispute over the line between church and state (or the lack thereof) is neither the first nor the fiercest in our history. In a powerful retelling of the birth of the American body politic, religious historian Forrest Church describes our first great culture war—a tumultuous yet nearly forgotten conflict that raged from George Washingtons presidency to James Monroes. On one side of the battle, the proponents of order—Federalists, Congregationalists, New Englanders—believed that the only legitimate ruler of men is God. On the other side, the defenders of liberty—republicans, Baptists, Virginians—cheered the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, and believed that only the separation of church and state would preserve mans freedom. Would we be a nation under God, or with liberty for all?In this vigorous history, Forrest Church offers a new vision of our earliest presidents beliefs, reshaping assumptions about the debates that still reverberate across our land.
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