counter create hit Sworn on the Altar of God: A Religious Biography of Thomas Jefferson - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Sworn on the Altar of God: A Religious Biography of Thomas Jefferson

Availability: Ready to download

This acclaimed biography explores the religious life of Thomas Jefferson and the contribution his strident commitment to religious liberty made to the formation of the nation. Renowned historian Edwin Gaustad chronicles Jefferson's intellectual growth, paying particular attention both to Jefferson's private struggle to come to grips with his own faith and to his public rol This acclaimed biography explores the religious life of Thomas Jefferson and the contribution his strident commitment to religious liberty made to the formation of the nation. Renowned historian Edwin Gaustad chronicles Jefferson's intellectual growth, paying particular attention both to Jefferson's private struggle to come to grips with his own faith and to his public role as champion of religious liberty. This volume is must reading for anyone interested in the religious life of one of America's most significant figures.


Compare

This acclaimed biography explores the religious life of Thomas Jefferson and the contribution his strident commitment to religious liberty made to the formation of the nation. Renowned historian Edwin Gaustad chronicles Jefferson's intellectual growth, paying particular attention both to Jefferson's private struggle to come to grips with his own faith and to his public rol This acclaimed biography explores the religious life of Thomas Jefferson and the contribution his strident commitment to religious liberty made to the formation of the nation. Renowned historian Edwin Gaustad chronicles Jefferson's intellectual growth, paying particular attention both to Jefferson's private struggle to come to grips with his own faith and to his public role as champion of religious liberty. This volume is must reading for anyone interested in the religious life of one of America's most significant figures.

30 review for Sworn on the Altar of God: A Religious Biography of Thomas Jefferson

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Saxon

    Gaustad's work is a very balanced and insightful analysis of Jefferson's religious views. Those who wish to categorize Jefferson as merely an Enlightenment thinker must come to grips with the seriousness of his religious passion. His belief in God shaped everything about his life. Nevertheless, those who wish to claim Jefferson as an evangelical will be devastated by the copious quotations Gaustad provides from Jefferson's extensive correspondence. In some ways Jefferson was no deist: he believe Gaustad's work is a very balanced and insightful analysis of Jefferson's religious views. Those who wish to categorize Jefferson as merely an Enlightenment thinker must come to grips with the seriousness of his religious passion. His belief in God shaped everything about his life. Nevertheless, those who wish to claim Jefferson as an evangelical will be devastated by the copious quotations Gaustad provides from Jefferson's extensive correspondence. In some ways Jefferson was no deist: he believed in God's continuous, supernatural maintenance of the world. But in other ways, the influence of the deists on his thinking is unmistakable. While never joining the Unitarians, he was devoted to Joseph Priestley and predicted that America would eventually be Unitarian. Gaustad skillfully develops different aspects of Jefferson's religious views in each phase of his life, producing a compelling and interesting read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Don

    Very good survey of Jefferson's views on religion, especially his complete rejection of religion binding itself to government. TJ was a deist or Unitarian. He very much believed that religion was the basis of morality and believed MUCH in reason as an important determinant in evaluating religion -- even creating his own version of the gospels by literally cutting out miracles & metaphysical statements. He is spinning in his grave now. Very good survey of Jefferson's views on religion, especially his complete rejection of religion binding itself to government. TJ was a deist or Unitarian. He very much believed that religion was the basis of morality and believed MUCH in reason as an important determinant in evaluating religion -- even creating his own version of the gospels by literally cutting out miracles & metaphysical statements. He is spinning in his grave now.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Arthur O'dell

    An excellent introduction both to Jefferson's own private views of religion and his influence and legacy in the public square, especially with regard to religious liberty. An excellent introduction both to Jefferson's own private views of religion and his influence and legacy in the public square, especially with regard to religious liberty.

  4. 5 out of 5

    G.K. Noyer

    Highly informative, this book is much more forthcoming than many about Jefferson’s real views on religion and on his battles for freedom of beliefs in American. Where the book exasperates, however, is the Christian sheen he nevertheless unflaggingly attempts to put on all that. If you’re looking for Jefferson’s views on religion, they are fairly honestly presented here. If you’re looking for his sources and influences, however, be on your guard. For example, in “Influences,” he talks about early Highly informative, this book is much more forthcoming than many about Jefferson’s real views on religion and on his battles for freedom of beliefs in American. Where the book exasperates, however, is the Christian sheen he nevertheless unflaggingly attempts to put on all that. If you’re looking for Jefferson’s views on religion, they are fairly honestly presented here. If you’re looking for his sources and influences, however, be on your guard. For example, in “Influences,” he talks about early Baptist, Roger Williams, contemporary Baptist, Isaac Backus, (both leitmotifs in our current history books) or the New Testament, which he assures us is where many Americans found notions of “liberty of conscience”- not Voltaire or Diderot. Then he ends all this by admitting sadly that “No evidence survives of Jefferson’s or Madison’s having read Roger Williams.” This, of course, shrewdly omits mentioning the hundred references or more to Voltaire, Diderot and other French Enlightenment writers in Jefferson’s correspondence with John Adams - which he rightly calls the richest source of their views on religion. No possible influence from all those terrible deists, or atheists! And the cherry-picking and editing of those views, when he does delve into them, is one of the most exasperating features of this book to anyone who’s read their letters. Gaustad is also apparently on the usual American Protestant mission of proving Jefferson a Unitarian, rather than a deist, even though Jefferson told Adams he believed Jesus himself was a deist. The usual lines approving Unitarian Joseph Priestley are cited, while Jefferson’s disappointment in some of Priestley's work is not mentioned. (It was Priestley’s book on “The Corruptions of Christianity” Jefferson was approving as “containing his own faith.”) Adam’s amazement at Priestley's 'absurdity and credulity' are also omitted, as are his tales of Priestley's ravings about the Apocalyptic Beast, etc. - as always in books on this particular Christian mission. Contrary to what they always say, it seems to me that Jefferson reached out to Priestly as a possible ally, who proved disappointing. And the frequent citations from their letters preclude the possibility that Gaustad did not see all of this. In short, for what Jefferson said and what he went through, this is a very rich source. But beware of the agenda, and check those extracts against the original sources. Though more honest on Jefferson's views than a great many, it does seem in cahoots with those who’ve been erasing the Enlightenment from our schoolbooks - which says more about the people writing these histories than about our founders.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    Despite Thomas Jefferson's pernicious religious views, this book is really good. Despite Thomas Jefferson's pernicious religious views, this book is really good.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Thomas Jefferson was completely for the seperation of Church and state. I have summed up the book. 200+ pages all proving the same thing. It was interesting in the very beginning, became slightly repetitious towards the middle, but the ending again became interesting. I enjoyed the book and the look at Jefferson's religious views; something he kept very private during his lifetime. Thomas Jefferson was completely for the seperation of Church and state. I have summed up the book. 200+ pages all proving the same thing. It was interesting in the very beginning, became slightly repetitious towards the middle, but the ending again became interesting. I enjoyed the book and the look at Jefferson's religious views; something he kept very private during his lifetime.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brad Hart

    Not too bad of a book. If you are interested in the religion of our Founding Fathers I would probably not reccomend this book. Though Gaustad covers the topic fairly well, I believe that there are better books out there.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mike Crews

  9. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Jerviss

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Parnell

  12. 5 out of 5

    Curt

  13. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  14. 4 out of 5

    Frank

  15. 5 out of 5

    Price L.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Hall

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kate Norton

  18. 5 out of 5

    Clyde

  19. 4 out of 5

    Zack Feinberg

  20. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brian Cleveland

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robert D. Cornwall

  23. 4 out of 5

    Frdaniel

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Yenzer

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mary Beth

  26. 4 out of 5

    Russell

  27. 5 out of 5

    Robbin Vandervort

  28. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    A good overview of Jefferson's religious beliefs. It is clear from this book that Jefferson was not an orthodox Christian. He leaned heavily towards Unitarianism. He did believe in traditonal morality, and respected the wisdom of the ages. Jefferson valued reason, and the belief that each person must work out their salvation A good overview of Jefferson's religious beliefs. It is clear from this book that Jefferson was not an orthodox Christian. He leaned heavily towards Unitarianism. He did believe in traditonal morality, and respected the wisdom of the ages. Jefferson valued reason, and the belief that each person must work out their salvation

  29. 4 out of 5

    Yoel ben Yehuda

  30. 4 out of 5

    Zach

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.