Six original essays that explore the deep significance of previously neglected religious themes in the Founding Era. Author James Hutson argues convincingly that without understanding these themes, it is impossible to comprehend the religious mentality of the Founding Era. Among the themes elucidated and explored are the doctrine of the future state of rewards and punishments, the civil magistrate's idealized role as the nursing father, and the conception of rights as moral powers grounded in religion. Hutson's thought-provoking and exhaustively researched essays challenge current scholarship on the Founding Era, which often downplays the importance of Christian ideals in the formation of the American government. Forgotten Features of the Founding is a must read for scholars of American History and those interested in the role of religion in American life.
This collection of trenchant essays confirms that James H. Hutson is the most astute scholar of religion's often neglected contributions to the American founding. Drawing on his vast knowledge of primary sources and current scholarship, Hutson offers new insights into old controversies and challenges readers to reconsider long held assumptions. This original, provocative, and wise book is required reading for everyone interested in the religious themes of the founding era.--Daniel Dreisbach, Department of Justice, Law and Society, American University