American Deism, Christianity, and the Age of Reason

Where religion is concerned, the best and most lasting contribution of America's founders was arguably more political than theological. They brought to fruition the idea of religious freedom. To be sure, this concept had already been articulated and underwent important developments prior to the eighteenth century.2 The Americans, however, began to make it a reality in the sphere of public life. This is nowhere more evident than in the Constitution of the United States and in the first article of the Bill of Rights. Nevertheless, some of the founders had a great deal to say on theological topics, and it is this aspect of their thinking on which I focus in this paper. Some of the founders were orthodox Christians ..
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