The Classical and Christian Origins of American Politics
Political Theology, Natural Law, and the American Founding
Author(s): Kody W. Cooper, Justin Buckley Dyer
Publication Date: 15/12/22
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There has been a considerable amount of literature in the last 70 years claiming that the American founders were steeped in modern thought. This study runs counter to that tradition, arguing that the founders of America were deeply indebted to the classical Christian natural-law tradition for their fundamental theological, moral, and political outlook. Evidence for this thesis is found in case studies of such leading American founders as Thomas Jefferson and James Wilson, the pamphlet debates, the founders' invocation of providence during the revolution, and their understanding of popular sovereignty. The authors go on to reflect on how the founders' political thought contained within it the resources that undermined, in principle, the institution of slavery, and explores the relevance of the founders' political theology for contemporary politics. This timely, important book makes a significant contribution to the scholarly debate over whether the American founding is compatible with traditional Christianity.
- Describes and analyzes the influence of classical Christianity on the political thought of the American founders
- Offers fresh perspectives on several leading American founders, including Thomas Jefferson, James Wilson, James Otis, and others
- Will be of interest to both analytically and historically minded students of the founding