Sworn on the Altar of God: A Religious Biography of Thomas Jefferson

By Edwin S. Gaustad | Go to book overview
Save to active project

8
A Religion for the People

"Our savior did not come into the world to save
metaphysicians only." (1818)

The ancient Greece that Jefferson much admired suffered from a serious division that he would neither commend nor support: a bifurcation in religion. Greek popular religion bore little if any resemblance to the religion of the Greek philosophers, nor did the two theological or liturgical worlds engage in any serious dialogue with each other. The mysteries of Dionysius or the Great Mother moved in one direction, the speculations of Plato or Aristotle, of Epicurus or Epictetus, in quite another. And Jefferson would have considered that sad circumstance as the attainment of neither a civic nor a religious ideal.

He had different hopes and expectations for America, different hopes and expectations for religion that followed and built upon the Enlightenment. The teachings of Jesus had relevance well beyond the confines of Christianity, just because moral duties and moral instincts had relevance that tran

-210-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Sworn on the Altar of God: A Religious Biography of Thomas Jefferson
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 246

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?