Dreisbach book examines the Bible's influence on founding fathers
By Patti Ghezzi | Emory Law | Jan 19, 2017 12:01:00 AM
Daniel L. Dreisbach, CSLR Fellow and professor at The American University, has published Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers (Oxford University Press, 2016), a study of the American founders' use of the Bible in political discourse and an analysis of the diverse uses of the Bible in political rhetoric.
The book challenges the belief that the ideas informing the founding fathers were predominantly secular and shows that Enlightment rationalism competed with biblical Christianity in the founders' political thought.
"This book can be read in an evening but mined for a lifetime," said CSLR Director John Witte, Jr. "The elegant prose and the enticing topics of liberty, justice, virtue, authority, and faith in the American founding era make it hard to stop reading. But beneath the text, the voluminous notes and quotes are a treasure trove that scholars of many fields will be mining for a very long time."
Dreisbach wrote about his book on the Oxford University Press blog:
"Focusing on the Bible’s impact on the political culture of the founding is not intended to discount, much less dismiss, other sources of influence that informed the American political experiment. Rather, I contend that casting a light on the often ignored place of the Bible in late eighteenth-century political thought enriches one’s understanding of the ideas that contributed to the founding project.”
Read more about Dreisbach's book here.