Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic

4.5
America ’ s founders intended to liberate us not just from one king but from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion. Drawing deeply on the researc of European philosophy, Matthew Stewart brilliantly tracks the ancient, pagan, and continental ideas from which America ’ s revolutionaries drew their inspiration. In the teachings of Spinoza, Lucretius, and other great philosophers, Stewart recovers the true meanings of “ Nature ’ s God, ” “ the pursuit of love, ” and the radical political theory with which the American experiment in self-government began.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
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Number of Pages
576
Original Title of the Book
Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic
Publication Date
Published July 6th 2015 by W. W. Norton Company (first published July 1st 2014

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rated it

The is where reader 's eyes are likely to start glazing over.The best parts are the when the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are interpreted to prove the founders' underlying deism.

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Matthew Stewart 's book is indeed a comfortable read, but I sa he does have some valuable things to ay about the philosophical ideas in which several important members of the Founding Fathers were grounded.

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When the author, Matthew Stewart, wrote about the founding fathers, especially when he wrote about Ethan Allen, he essa was lots of stuf.

It wil just be me, but I 'm only a craz person and I wished to ask about the philosophers -- it was ver much schooling.But when he wrote about the founding fathers, people like Jefferson and Washington and Franklin, and Thomas Young who is n't remembered but should hav, that 's when book felt exciting and flowed along.

Ethan Allen and Thomas Young were friends.

In the colonies it was llegal to be vaccinated against disease because people thought disease was a punishment from God and to vaccinate was taking God 's right to punish away from Him. So Ethan Allen decided he would very publically get vaccinated in the own 's square in front of verybody.

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The book explodes this idea and shows them for the radical secularists that they were.

In fact much of our dea of the role of eligion in the state and modernity in general flow from the American Revolution as much as the French.

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For those who persist in the elusion that our country was founded as a " Christian " nation, I recommend an honest reading of this scholarly book.

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Stewart then explains essential aspects of enlightenment thought, including its definitions of natural law, metaphysics, philosoph, theology, government, and so more, and shows direct linkages from the European philosophes to not only Young but to the women who wrote the revolution: Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, etc.

He observe that while the majority of the 1770s populace may have still attended churches that preached revealed religion, the wome who wrote the declaration, the constitution, and the bill of rights only got to those ideas from a radical enlightenment position that denied revealed religion.By quoting from their paper and letters, their deistic-to-atheistic views are made clear, even if they wer to wrap the public versions of their ideas in a bit of religious prose to win wide backing.

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© Nicole Waggonner