Faith and the Presidency From George Washington to George W. Bush

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Oxford University Press, 12.10.2006 г. - 680 страници
In the wake of the 2004 election, pundits were shocked at exit polling that showed that 22% of voters thought 'moral values' was the most important issue at stake. People on both sides of the political divide believed this was the key to victory for George W. Bush, who professes a deep and abiding faith in God. While some fervent Bush supporters see him as a man chosen by God for the White House, opponents see his overt commitment to Christianity as a dangerous and unprecedented bridging of the gap between church and state. In fact, Gary Scott Smith shows, none of this is new. Religion has been a major part of the presidency since George Washington's first inaugural address. Despite the mounting interest in the role of religion in American public life, we actually know remarkably little about the faith of our presidents. Was Thomas Jefferson an atheist, as his political opponents charged? What role did Lincoln's religious views play in his handling of slavery and the Civil War? How did born-again Southern Baptist Jimmy Carter lose the support of many evangelicals? Was George W. Bush, as his critics often claimed, a captive of the religious right? In this fascinating book, Smith answers these questions and many more. He takes a sweeping look at the role religion has played in presidential politics and policies. Drawing on extensive archival research, Smith paints compelling portraits of the religious lives and presidencies of eleven chief executives for whom religion was particularly important. Faith and the Presidency meticulously examines what each of its subjects believed and how those beliefs shaped their presidencies and, in turn, the course of our history.
 

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Faith and the presidency: from George Washington to George W. Bush

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Given the separation of church and state specified by the Second Amendment, Americans have both contested and championed the expression of religious faith by their leaders. Smith (history, Grove City ... Прочетете пълната рецензия

Съдържание

Introduction
3
1 George Washington and Providential Agency
21
2 Thomas Jefferson and the Separation of Church and State
53
Saving the Last Best Hope of Earth
91
4 Theodore Roosevelt and the Bully Pulpit
129
Presbyterian Statesman
159
6 Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Quest to Achieve an Abundant Life
191
7 Dwight David Eisenhower Dynamic Conservatism and the Religious Revival of the 1950s
221
The First Catholic President
259
First Servant of the Nation
293
Making America Gods Shining City on a Hill
325
A FaithBased Presidency
365
Conclusion
415
Notes
431
Index
635
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Информация за автора (2006)

Gary Scott Smith chairs the History Department and coordinates the Humanities Core at Grove City College where he has taught since 1978. He is the author or editor of six books, including God and Politics: Four Views on the Reformation of Civil Government (1989) and The Search for Social Salvation: Social Christianity and America, 1880-1925 (2000).

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