Forgotten Features of the Founding: The Recovery of Religious Themes in the Early American Republic
Dreisbach, Daniel L., Journal of Church and State
Forgotten Features of the Founding: The Recovery of Religious Themes in the Early American Republic. By James Hutson. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2003. 208 pp. $60.00 cloth, $22.00 paper.
In 1998, James H. Hutson, chief of the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress, published Religion and the Founding of the American Republic, one of the best short volumes on the role of religion in the late colonial and early national periods. He now builds on this work in a collection of original essays that further explicate religious themes in the American founding.
Forgotten Features of the Founding confirms that the author is among the most astute students of religion in early American political and legal culture. Few scholars writing today are more familiar with, or make better use of, the primary documents of the founding era than James Hutson. Drawing on his vast knowledge of both primary sources and the most current scholarship, he offers new insights into old controversies and challenges readers to reconsider long held assumptions. As the title evocatively suggests, the essays in this volume identify and explicate vital, yet now forgotten, religious themes that exerted a tremendous influence in their own time. "The religious mentality of the Founding generation," Hutson asserts in the preface, "cannot, in fact, be understood without taking them into account" (p. xi).
Hutson explores these forgotten themes in six illuminating chapters. The first examines the revolutionary generation's faith in the "public utility" of religion for promoting social order, political prosperity, and human happiness. Hutson gives special attention to the doctrine of a "future state of rewards and punishments"-a familiar phrase in …
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Publication information: Article title: Forgotten Features of the Founding: The Recovery of Religious Themes in the Early American Republic. Contributors: Dreisbach, Daniel L. - Author. Journal title: Journal of Church and State. Volume: 45. Issue: 4 Publication date: Autumn 2003. Page number: 826+. © 1999 J.M. Dawson Studies in Church and State. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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