Posts Tagged ‘French Revolution’

Daniel Dreisbach on Biblical Rhetoric in the Founding Era

What role did the Bible play in the rhetoric of the Founding Era of the United States? Prof. Daniel Dreisbach discusses how various themes and particular passages of the Scriptures were used by political leaders during the late 18th and early 19th century to help frame the creation of a new republic. He argues that verses found in Micah, Proverbs, and other places were used frequently to connect to a larger political conversation with the American people regarding the nature of the United States, the importance of virtue in its citizenry, and why the diffusion of power was important. We also chat about the role of religion during presidential inaugurations.

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Pamela Edwards on Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor might be best known as the poet of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” but this all-around intellectual also had a great deal to say about history, philosophy, politics, and theology. Dr. Pamela Edwards of the Jack Miller Center discusses the life, times, and thought of this interesting character who left an indelible mark on the social thinking of the late 18th and early 19th century.

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Jonathan den Hartog on Patriotism & Piety

The first few decades after the founding of the United States represented a time of intense political and religious struggle. Prof. Jonathan den Hartog (University of Northwestern in St. Paul, MN) discusses this conflict and how it shook out. Based upon his new book “Patriotism and Piety: Federalist Politics and Religious Struggle in the New American Nation,” Prof. den Hartog illuminates how a group of American thinkers sought to strengthen the role religion played in American civil society and how that affected the way we govern ourselves.

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Robert Delahunty on Alexis de Tocqueville and Religion

Prof. Robert Delahunty (University of St. Thomas) discusses the life and thought of Alexis de Tocqueville, particularly as it pertains to his views on religion and democracy. We discuss Tocqueville’s personal religious history and how this influenced his thought, as well as the observations he made with respect to the role of religion in a newly-formed democratic nation. Prof. Delahunty explores Tocqueville’s thoughts on church-state relations and the role of civil religion in comparison with Niccolo Machiavelli, and we reflect upon what Tocqueville’s observations recorded in America’s Jacksonian Era tell us about the role of religion in the U.S. today.

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Jonathan den Hartog on the Spiritual & Political Life of John Jay

With Independence Day quickly approaching, we once again take a look at the role of religion in shaping America’s Founding. Historian Jonathan den Hartog surveys the life, times, and influence of John Jay, one of the “forgotten Founding Fathers.” With a spiritual mix of French Prostantism and Anglicanism, we follow Jay through various phases of his life including his role during the struggle for independence, the tumultuous crafting of a new federal government, his time in public service, and his life in building civil society. Jay’s life provides a number of interesting insights that are still relevent for political and civic engagement today. Show off your impressive knowledge of this intriguing character at your Fourth of July celebration.

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Hunter Baker on Secularism

What role should religion be allowed to play in the public square? Prof. Hunter Baker (Union University) discusses how the concept of “secularism” has crept into our nation’s conscience and is believed to be a philosophy of “neutrality.” Prof. Baker argues that this isn’t the case as secularism is an ideological alternative to religious belief that is privileged over religious expression in the public square. Our wide-ranging conversation takes us through discussions of Judge Roy Moore, religiously-based progressive taxation, religion in Sweden, and the philosophy of John Stuart Mill and John Rawls.

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Daniel Philpott on Religious Resurgence & Democratization

Is the global resurgence in public religiosity over the past 40 years linked in any way to the increase in democratic governance over the same period of time? Prof. Dan Philpott (Notre Dame) covers the historical trends of church-state relations and discusses how changes in political theologies and the increasing independence of religious organizations have provided a fertile ground for political democratization in some corners of the world. We examine how and why some religious traditions have been involved in promoting democracy under authoritarian conditions. Our discussion turns toward some speculation about the future of the “Arab Spring” at the end of our interview. This is the first part of a discussion of the book “God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics.”

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