Share this
PREVIOUS ARTICLE ALL CONTENTS Next ARTICLE

The Religious Beliefs of America’s Founders: Reason, Revelation, and Revolution, Gregg L. Frazer

Reviewed by Bill Reddinger

BUY

 

In his new book, Gregg Frazer presents an original and persuasive treatment of the religious beliefs of America’s Founders. According to Frazer, the most influential American Founders were neither Christians nor deists but rather what he calls “theistic rationalists,” and the Founders sought to establish a republic that was neither secular nor Christian but rather one based upon theistic rationalism.

Frazer defines “theistic rationalism” as “a hybrid belief system mixing ele­ments of natural religion, Christianity, and rationalism, with rationalism as the predominant element” (p. 14). This “belief system” was not deistic, because in contrast to deism, it posited that God was providentially involved in the events of the world, that at least some of the Bible was inspired by God, and that Jesus Christ was a good moral figure. Neither was this belief system Christianity, however, because it rejected the divinity of Jesus, the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, and other key Christian doctrines such as the Trinity, the necessity of belief in Jesus for salvation by grace alone, and substitutionary atonement— doctrines that theistic rationalists regard as being the result of a corruption of the teachings of Jesus by St. Paul and later leaders

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

ROBERT Y. SHAPIRO

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

CONFERENCES & EVENTS

WEBINAR
The History and Future of Planetary Threats: Fareed Zakaria’s Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World
December 8, 2020

MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT VIEW ALL EVENTS

Editor’s spotlight

Voting and the Electorate

The Racial Gap in Wait Times: Why Minority Precincts Are Underserved by Local Election Officials
STEPHEN PETTIGREW

The Impact of Voter Fraud Claims on Voter Registration Reform Legislation
MARGARET GROARKE

MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

Presidential Selection and Democracy   PRESIDENTIAL SELECTION AND DEMOCRACY

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS