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In God of Liberty: A Religious Hitory of the American Revolution, historian Thomas S. Kidd argues that the improbable partnership of evangelicals and Deists saw America through the Revolutionary War, the ratification of the Constitution, and up to the election of Thomas Jefferson in 1800.
A thought-provoking reminder of the crucial role religion played in the Revolutionary era, God of Liberty represents both a timely appeal for spiritual diversity and a groundbreaking excavation of how faith powered the American Revolution.
Number of Pages: 324
Vendor: Running Press Book Publishers
Publication Date: 2010
|Dimensions: 9.30 X 6.20 (inches)|
Availability: In Stock
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In God of Liberty, historian Thomas S. Kidd argues that the improbable partnership of evangelicals and Deists saw America through the Revolutionary War, the ratification of the Constitution, and the election of Thomas Jefferson in 1800. A thought-provoking reminder of the crucial role religion played in the Revolutionary era, God of Liberty represents both a timely appeal for spiritual diversity and a groundbreaking excavation of how faith powered the American Revolution.
Kidd delves into the lives of religious reformers, political leaders, and military commanders to provide a background of the American Revolution in a more focused and unique perspective. It is a breath a fresh air from the cliched historical textbooks that only address broad themes of the time period. God of Liberty leads the reader sequentially through periods in the American Revolution, with each chapter centered on a different viewpoint, person, or religious denomination. Kidd provides the background of historical issues when necessary, making it a lucid and enjoyable text. A senior fellow at the Institute for Studies of Religion and an associate professor of history at Baylor University, Kidd brings extensive knowledge of his subject to the table.
He writes, "Liberty's friends must always be vigilant to protect it, for malevolent forces always sought to destroy. . . religious freedom." Kidd focuses on how Christian patriots depended on their faith in God when they had nothing else to support them, and how that faith influenced their approach to war and ultimately to the Constitution of the United States. "The U.S. Constitution emerged from a crisis of virtue."
Overall, God of Liberty is an enlightening book, full of fresh perspectives and well-explained points. Even someone who has never heard of the American Revolution could finish the book satisfied and informed. A history buff will pick up new points, and at the same time, a novice can gain a solid foundation of U.S. history. God of Liberty is a delightfully informative adventure that presents history in a new light. Benjamin Schmitt, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Rodney Stark, author of Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades
"A truly revolutionary book, in all the right ways."
George Marsden, author of Jonathan Edwards: A Life
"Thomas Kidd does an excellent job of providing a readable and notably comprehensive account of the varied roles that the religion played in the era of the American Revolution."
"This deeply researched, clearly organized, and well written book illuminates a complex and often controversial history. The Revolutionary and Constitutional periods were neither Christian nor godless as these terms are used in modern polemics. Instead, patriots and leaders of the early United States united to support disestablishment and common principles about the need for virtue to insure republican freedoms, despite holding different personal beliefs. Thomas Kidd is a remarkably sure-footed guide through this treacherous historical terrain."
"[A]n important contribution to American religious history."
"Kidd argues that religion was inextricably linked to the American Revolutionary movement, his book will prove of interest both to readers in American Colonial religion and Colonial history, with his inclusion of unfamiliar sources extending the appeal…"
"With impressive command of the primary sources and deft historical analysis, Kidd has produced an indispensable survey of religious life during the Revolutionary era… all the more remarkable for its breadth… One of the many virtues of this book is that Kidd is a careful and judicious historian… he points outcorrectlythe errors of both present-day secularists on the left, who insist that the founders barred religious voices from political discourse, and the church-state separation deniers on the right. The lesson of American history is that although church and state are institutionally separate, morality and freedom are seldom at odds and that, in fact, they are mutually reinforcing."
"Kidd directs his magnifying glass on a rare slice of the American Revolution: its religious aspects. . . . After reading this, some may wonder why religion is so shortchanged in other Revolutionary treatments."
"Balanced without being bland, lucid in the telling, Thomas Kidds chronicle corrects the excesses both of those who overstate the degree to which America was founded as a Christian nation and of those who seek to minimize the formative role of religion in the new nations character."