Christian Books, Bibles, Music & More - 1.888.395.0572
Call our Toll Free Number:
Find us on:
Follow Us On 

Twitter!   Join Us On Facebook!

Christian Bookstore .Net is a leading online Christian book store.

Shop Christian Books, Bibles, Jewelry, Church Supplies, Homeschool Curriculum & More!

The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America [Hardcover]

By Frank Lambert (Author)
Our Price $ 42.50  
Retail Value $ 50.00  
You Save $ 7.50  (15%)  
Item Number 151082  
Buy New $42.50
Out Of Stock!
Currently Out Of Stock

Item Specifications...

Pages   344
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.21" Width: 6.22" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   1.41 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 31, 2003
Publisher   Princeton University Press
ISBN  0691088292  
EAN  9780691088297  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

How did the United States, founded as colonies with explicitly religious aspirations, come to be the first modern state whose commitment to the separation of church and state was reflected in its constitution? Frank Lambert explains why this happened, offering in the process a synthesis of American history from the first British arrivals through Thomas Jefferson's controversial presidency.

Lambert recognizes that two sets of spiritual fathers defined the place of religion in early America: what Lambert calls the Planting Fathers, who brought Old World ideas and dreams of building a "City upon a Hill," and the Founding Fathers, who determined the constitutional arrangement of religion in the new republic. While the former proselytized the "one true faith," the latter emphasized religious freedom over religious purity.

Lambert locates this shift in the mid-eighteenth century. In the wake of evangelical revival, immigration by new dissenters, and population expansion, there emerged a marketplace of religion characterized by sectarian competition, pluralism, and widened choice. During the American Revolution, dissenters found sympathetic lawmakers who favored separating church and state, and the free marketplace of religion gained legal status as the Founders began the daunting task of uniting thirteen disparate colonies. To avoid discord in an increasingly pluralistic and contentious society, the Founders left the religious arena free of government intervention save for the guarantee of free exercise for all. Religious people and groups were also free to seek political influence, ensuring that religion's place in America would always be a contested one, but never a state-regulated one.

An engaging and highly readable account of early American history, this book shows how religious freedom came to be recognized not merely as toleration of dissent but as a natural right to be enjoyed by all Americans.

Buy The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America by Frank Lambert from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780691088297 & 0691088292

The team at Christian Bookstore .Net welcome you to our Christian Book store! We offer the best selections of Christian Books, Bibles, Christian Music, Inspirational Jewelry and Clothing, Homeschool curriculum, and Church Supplies. We encourage you to purchase your copy of The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America by Frank Lambert today - and if you are for any reason not happy, you have 30 days to return it. Please contact us at 1-877-205-6402 if you have any questions.

More About Frank Lambert

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Frank Lambert is Professor of History at Purdue University. He is the author of "Pedlar in Divinity" and "Inventing the "Great Awakening"" (both Princeton).

Frank Lambert currently resides in the state of Indiana. Frank Lambert was born in 1943.

Are You The Artisan or Author behind this product?
Improve our customers experience by registering for an Artisan Biography Center Homepage.

Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > General   [4738  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > Colonial Period > General   [1235  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > General   [16214  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > Revolution & Founding > General   [869  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity   [1828  similar products]
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Church & State   [1182  similar products]
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Sociology   [1402  similar products]

Similar Products
The Faiths of the Founding Fathers
The Faiths of the Founding Fathers
Item: 68936

Founding Faith: How Our Founding Fathers Forged a Radical New Approach to Religious Liberty
Founding Faith: How Our Founding Fathers Forged a Radical New Approach to Religious Liberty
Item: 2205112

The Democratization of American Christianity
The Democratization of American Christianity
Item: 159545

Reviews - What do our customers think?
Should become a textbook on the subject-- with cautions  Jun 9, 2007
Frank Lambert, professor of history at Purdue University, does an excellent job of surveying this complex topic over a 200-year period. He does so thoroughly, yet concisely, in only 296 pages. While making generalizations at times, he often illustrates his points with quotations from original sources of the time period.
He begins by criticizing extremists on both sides of the issue, and proceeds to present a balanced approach. However, as I will explain at the end of this review, he shows his bias at the end.
Lambert's thesis is this: America WAS first settled by people who wanted to make it a Christian nation, whether Puritans in New England, Anglicans in Virginia, or Quakers and others in Pennsylvania. These early founders had a vision of making America "a city on a hill," a model Christian commonwealth. However, two major influences led the founding fathers to establish a government that separated church and state. These two influences were the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening. Men like Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, who were influenced by the Enlightenment, felt that men should be free to use their own reason in matters of religion. The Baptists and others who benefitted from the rapid growth of "free" churches in the Great Awakening were persecuted by established churches and wished to have no established church, so they joined with men like Jefferson in calling for separation of church and state.
Lambert shows that there was great division over these issues, and gives interesting anecdotes and quotations from both sides. He quotes frequently from religious leaders on both sides of the issue. However, near the end of the book he spends much more time quoting Republicans like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and gives little space to Federalists like George Washington and John Adams. At one point, on page 161, Lambert implies that John Adams was a deist, even though biographies of Adams have shown him to be a devout Christian with a Puritan heritage.
Lambert shows his view in his conclusion, as he criticizes accomodationists such as Judge William Rehnquist and "religious right" preachers like Pat Robertson.
While Lambert gives both sides of the argument, he clearly leads the reader to his own separationist interpretation. Because the book is so full of useful information, I highly recommend it as a textbook on the subject, but let the reader understand that Lambert has his own bias, too.
Nuance and Honesty  Jun 7, 2005
Lambert offers a rare erudite examination of the issue of religion at the founding of our nation. Given the heated partisan rhetoric coming from all sides in this debate, it is refreshing to hear a voice of moderation.

Although Lambert offers a compelling case for a secular government and pluralistic religious culture, such an argument, although cogent, may obscure an underlying problem among those who look to the past for direction on present-day policy: That which "was" is not necessarily "as should be."

Consider this: Our founders tolerated slavery; the subjugation of women in the spheres of education, occupation, and politics; legal disregard for the Native peoples, whose legal definition was left ambiguous, etc.

Is it not safe to assume that we have become a different society and culture since the late eighteenth century? Therefore, even IF the "Christian-nation" pseudo-historians could convincingly make their case, it does not follow that America SHOULD be a Christian nation today any more than we would conclude that slavery or disenfranchisement of women and blacks are acceptable features of our culture.

In the end, my response would be, "So what?" I have no antiquarian reactionary neuroses that compel me to embrace the ideas of past generations. Indeed, it is the lack of a compelling message that forces evangelicals to cherry-pick history to buttress their unpersuasive arguments.

Having said that, Lambert's book should be applauded for successfully undermining the simplistic, quote-mining, de-contextualizing, de-historicizing pretensions of fundamentalist revisionists who ransack history in search of only "useful" evidence.
Fair and balanced?  May 9, 2005
Lambert's book provides a valuable overview of sectarian strife in early America. His examination of Adams' view of church-state relations was especially helpful.

In the intro, though, he claims to be writing a book that takes the middle road on church-state relations. Previous reviewers proved themselves highly suggestible readers in this regard, as his view of the Founders take on church and state is decidedly imbalanced. If you're going to write a book focusing on the Founders' two most vociferous separationists, at least present some truth in advertising.

* Lambert spends 70 pages on Jefferson and Adams and a mere 16 on Washington and Hamilton. Any coincidence that the former two were vociferous separationists, while the latter two were integrationists?

* Lambert doesn't once mention Washington's farewell address. Such an omission in a book on church-state relations defies comprehension, until you see that Lambert's agenda, contra claims, is to buttress contemporary support for a complete separation between government and religion.

* Lambert fails to apply the common distinction between state-established religion and civic religion to the modern debate.

* Instead, he finishes the book by providing a damning quote from Jerry Falwell and proceding to refute the televangelist. And again, in an omission that reveals his barely concealed agenda, Lambert provides no similar quote-and-refutation regarding today's separation absolutists. The implication in the Falwell quote is that integrationists are mostly establishmentarians rather than civic religionists.

Consider this book a useful supplement on certain aspects of the church-state issue in early America, especially on the importance of sectarian divisions. But don't buy the neutrality nonsense he offers in the intro. As happens with most professors today, Lambert's worldview so thoroughly dominates his profession that it can't help but emerge through even the most determined efforts to remain objective.
Christian Nation, Secular State  Feb 5, 2005
This very good book is a concise history of church-state relations in Colonial and Revolutionary America from the early British settlements to the election of 1800. Lambert describes the nature of early religous establishments, the increasing diversification of American religion, the impact of the Enlightenment and radical Whig ideology, and the emergence of church-state separation after the Revolution. There will be little new in this book for scholars of this period but this is definitely the best overview I have seen on this very contentious topic. Aimed at a broad audience, The Founding Fathers is written well, organized well, and is objective.
Lambert comes to this subject from an interesting perspective. His prior major work has been on the history of 18th century evangelism and his is an expert on Colonial religous practice. He particularly stresses that most of the colonies were founded originally with established churches and that establishment crumbled under the pressures of religous diversification. By the mid-18th century, the colonies contained a remarkably diverse set of Protestant sects and even some Catholics. This religous diversity, some of which arose from immigration and some from separatist movements within established churches, placed great strains on established churches. The mid-century Great Awakening resulted in further diversification and undermined the authority of the parish system throughout the colonies. Around the same time, the Enlightenment, with its Deistic views, and radical Whig ideology, with its emphasis on individual liberty, were becoming increasingly influential in the Colonies. All these factors converged to form a widespread belief that individuals, not the state, should determine religous faith. Individual churches would have to compete for adherents in a marketplace of ideas without the support of the state. These ideas eventually culminated in the post-Revolutionary separation of Church and State in the Federal Constitution. Separationism was supported most strongly by a coalition of relatively secular political leaders, like most of the Founders, and Protestant dissenters whose churches had suffered discrimination under the established churches in several colonies. This coalition believed correctly that religion was best served by being separated from the state. This was truly a revolutionary development and the USA was the first polity to enact church-state separation. Indeed, a number of European states still have established churches and almost all of them preserve a constitutionally sanctioned special relationship with one church. Lambert concludes by discussing the Presidential election of 1800, which some Federalists and sectarians framed as a referendum on Jefferson's unfitness to be President because of his deist-unitarian beliefs. Lambert argues convincingly that the election of 1800 acted as a referendum of sorts not just on Jefferson but also on church-state separation. Perhaps the only significant defect of this book is that the conclusion leaves one with the impression that the Church-State separation was settled after the election of 1800. It was not, and some of the more unattractive subsequent aspects of our history are consequences of imperfect separation. The Federal separation of Church and State applied originally only to the actions of the Federal government, some states continued with established churches into the 19th century. More important, state and local political power became vehicles for religous bigotry, notably abuse of public school systems in ways that infringed the rights of minority religions. One of the reasons we have a large system of Catholic private education is that 19th century Protestants used public schools to harass Catholics. Lambert demonstrates nicely that separation was engendered by the religous diversity of 18th century America. We have even more religous diversity today and separation continues to be a guarantee of a vibrant religous culture.
The issue of Church-State separation continues to be very contentious. Since many partisans in this debate appeal to the Revolutionary period to support their points of view, writing in this field can be emotionally charged. Lambert has clearly written this book in an effort to provide a fair and dispassionate presentation of what actually happened. Reflecting a broad consensus of knowledgeable historians, he has succeeded, though his conclusions will not be palatable for many on the religous right.
Refreshing, Accurate & Fair History of First Amendment  Aug 20, 2004
I have to agree with the other reviewers here (like Jack Kessler below):

This is a book that should be read by BOTH pro-separationists and anti-separationists. Of all the books that I have read on the subject, this book was *refreshingly* honest, accurate and scholarly, not to mention, a rather enjoyable reading.

The author stays clear of attacking either pro-separationists or anti-separationists--I truly appreciated that. (Can I assume this man is a Christian, or at least a good man?) Its been awhile since I've read a book on this subject that was historically accurate and could be trusted because it does not come across as biased.

Even if I agreed with him for the most part, the author forced me to think about my own stance. As another reviewer stated, this man also addresses the issues and policies that are being debated about around the first amendment, some of which I did not understand as clearly until I read this book.

As the other reviewer here said, this book should be a *textbook* for everyone, because it shows some of the history that many of us Christians (on both ends of spectrum) don't know about.

The book even gave me a greater respect for our nation's founders, after learning about the issues they grappled with.

Of ALL the books on the subject, this is my favorite, and probably the only book that I would recommend as a MUST READ for people at both ends of the political spectrum! :)

Write your own review about The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America

Customer Support: 1-888-395-0572
Welcome to Christian Bookstore .Net

Our team at Christian Bookstore .Net would like to welcome you to our site. Our Christian book store features over 150,000 Christian products including Bibles, Christian music, Christian books, jewelry, church supplies, Christian gifts, Sunday school curriculum, purity rings, homeschool curriculum and many other items to encourage you in your walk with God. Our mission is to provide you with quality Christian resources that you can benefit from and share with others. The best part is that our complete selection of Christian books and supplies is offered at up to 20% off of retail price! Please call us if you have any questions or need assistance in ordering at 1-888-395-0572. Have a blessed day.

Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Customer Support