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The Religious Aspects Of The Founding Of The American Republic: A Design Of Religion And Reason

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Chapter Summary

This chapter proceeds by first surveying learned opinion of the significance of 'things religious', for the founders and their generation. It turns to contemporary evidence showing the nature and depth of religious views at the time, paying detailed attention to such representative documents as the Continental and Confederation Congress' official proclamations, to the texts of the sermons preached by leading churchmen, and to some of the other pamphlet literature. The chapter suggests the appeal to the spiritual order of the Constitution's central structures of assuring liberty under law, thereby arguing that this is the ultimate theoretical grounding in American consciousness. It provides evidence for the fact that there was indeed a substantial spiritual dimension to the founding of the United States of America and to sketch the character of the debt of the Constitution and its order to that dimension.

Keywords: American Republic; churchmen; Constitution; pamphlet literature; sermons



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