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1 Burnside US History- Colonial America

Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty

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Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty Cover

ISBN13: 9780670023059
ISBN10: 0670023051
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A revelatory look at how Roger Williams shaped the nature of religion, political power, and individual rights in America.

For four hundred years, Americans have wrestled with and fought over two concepts that define the nature of the nation: the proper relation between church and state and between a free individual and the state. These debates began with the extraordinary thought and struggles of Roger Williams, who had an unparalleled understanding of the conflict between a government that justified itself by "reason of state"-i.e. national security-and its perceived "will of God" and the "ancient rights and liberties" of individuals.

This is a story of power, set against Puritan America and the English Civil War. Williams's interactions with King James, Francis Bacon, Oliver Cromwell, and his mentor Edward Coke set his course, but his fundamental ideas came to fruition in America, as Williams, though a Puritan, collided with John Winthrop's vision of his "City upon a Hill."

Acclaimed historian John M. Barry explores the development of these fundamental ideas through the story of the man who was the first to link religious freedom to individual liberty, and who created in America the first government and society on earth informed by those beliefs. The story is essential to the continuing debate over how we define the role of religion and political power in modern American life.

Synopsis:

A revelatory look at the separation of church and state in America—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Great Influenza
 
For four hundred years, Americans have fought over the proper relationships between church and state and between a free individual and the state. This is the story of the first battle in that war of ideas, a battle that led to the writing of the First Amendment and that continues to define the issue of the separation of church and state today. It began with religious persecution and ended in revolution, and along the way it defined the nature of America and of individual liberty. Acclaimed historian John M. Barry explores the development of these fundamental ideas through the story of Roger Williams, who was the first to link religious freedom to individual liberty, and who created in America the first government and society on earth informed by those beliefs. This book is essential to understanding the continuing debate over the role of religion and political power in modern life.

About the Author

John M. Barry is the author of the New York Times bestselling The Great Influenza and the prizewinning history Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America. He divides his time between New Orleans, Louisiana, and Washington, D.C.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

comjhd, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by comjhd)
In an age of recurrent questions about the nature of the US Constitution, John Barry's book about Roger Williams, the founder of Providence, Rhode Island, emphasizes that the this original proponent of the separation of church and state was, nevertheless, deeply religious. Learned and scholarly, he concluded that no one could have an error-free understanding of the Bible. Fighting the Puritans of Massachusetts who insisted that government and religion must operate as one, Williams insisted that Providence have a secular government with religious freedom for everyone. His statement that forcing people to worship "stinks in the nostrils of God" was perhaps his strongest avowal that neither governments nor religious leaders should ever compel anyone to violate conscience in matters of religion. Every politician and jurist should read this book before considering laws regarding the First Amendment.
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Linda Rickert, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Linda Rickert)
Fascinating insight into some of the intellectual currents of the early colonies--it has turned some of the names I just somehow connected to that time into personal culture heroes.
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Jerome Delamater, August 6, 2012 (view all comments by Jerome Delamater)
Barry's thorough explication of Roger Williams' role in laying the foundation for separation of church and state is vital at this moment in our history. The book should be required reading for politicians of all stripes (Santorum especially) but also for the average voter. As Barry makes clear, one can be highly religious, as Williams assuredly was, yet committed to the ideas of tolerance for other faiths, no religious involvement with government, and no government involvment with religion.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780670023059
Author:
Barry, John M
Publisher:
Viking Books
Author:
Barry, John M.
Subject:
United States / Colonial Period(1600-1775)
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
B-Hardcover
Publication Date:
20120131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w map in front matter
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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History and Social Science » US History » Colonial America

Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty Used Hardcover
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Product details 480 pages Viking Books - English 9780670023059 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A revelatory look at the separation of church and state in America—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Great Influenza
 
For four hundred years, Americans have fought over the proper relationships between church and state and between a free individual and the state. This is the story of the first battle in that war of ideas, a battle that led to the writing of the First Amendment and that continues to define the issue of the separation of church and state today. It began with religious persecution and ended in revolution, and along the way it defined the nature of America and of individual liberty. Acclaimed historian John M. Barry explores the development of these fundamental ideas through the story of Roger Williams, who was the first to link religious freedom to individual liberty, and who created in America the first government and society on earth informed by those beliefs. This book is essential to understanding the continuing debate over the role of religion and political power in modern life.

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