Faith and the Founding Fathers

Narrated by: Adam Jortner
Length: 5 hrs and 51 mins
Categories: History, American
5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What did the Founding Fathers think about religion? And why did a group of practicing Protestants create a republic with widespread religious liberty? The 12 lectures included in this fascinating course provide multi-layered insights into the vision, philosophies, politics, and deep-seated faith of these brilliant leaders - in their own time, in their own words.

Listeners will examine the unorthodox religious journeys of men like George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine, and John Jay, as well as the profound and passionate faiths of John Adams, Patrick Henry, and Benjamin Rush. They’ll also explore the ways in which the Founders thought about mixing religion with political power, from establishing national fast days to disestablishing state churches.

Along the way, listeners will hear about the profound changes religious freedom created in America. The Faith and the Founding Fathers is the story of how liberty and religion wrestled with each other at the birth of the republic and created the forms and traditions of modern American religion.

Through these 12 lectures, listeners will come to fully understand the philosophies of the Founding Fathers as they:

  • Investigate how religion responded to the American Revolution
  • Travel back to pre-revolutionary American religion and encounter the renegades of the Great Awakening and the tenets of Puritans and Deists
  • Learn how the American Revolution was influenced by the beliefs of everyone from John Adams to Charles Carroll
  • Discover how religious liberty became enshrined as law
  • Examine surprising effects of religious liberty that the Founding Fathers never anticipated, including the rise of new forms of Christianity and American revivalism
  • Follow the rapid expansion of African American Christianity among both free and enslaved communities

Despite how far removed the faiths of the Founding Fathers are from us in the 21st century, Dr. Jortner’s explorations of their philosophies offer illuminating insights into modern politics, religious liberty, and the overarching role of religion in human civilization. 

©2019 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

Our favorite moments from Faith and the Founding Fathers

Chapter 2, Lecture 1: Religion and the American Founders
  • Chapter 2, Lecture 1: Religion and the American Founders
Separation of church and state
Chapter 8, Lecture 7: The Religion of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
  • Chapter 8, Lecture 7: The Religion of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson vs. Adams
Chapter 12, Lecture 11: Religious Challenges in the Age of the Founders
  • Chapter 12, Lecture 11: Religious Challenges in the Age of the Founders
Demonic Christmas

  • Chapter 2, Lecture 1: Religion and the American Founders
  • Separation of church and state
  • Chapter 8, Lecture 7: The Religion of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
  • Jefferson vs. Adams
  • Chapter 12, Lecture 11: Religious Challenges in the Age of the Founders
  • Demonic Christmas

"Really informative! Dr. Jortner is very insightful and this
course offers a lot of fun facts for learning."

–Susan D., Audible Listener
.

About the Professor

Dr. Adam Jortner is the Goodwin-Philpott Eminent Scholar of Religion in the Department of History at Auburn University. He received his BA in Religion from the College of William and Mary, and his MA and PhD in History from the University of Virginia. Dr. Jortner is the author of Blood from the Sky: A Political History of Miracles in Early America, and The Gods of Prophetstown: The Battle of Tippecanoe and the Holy War for the American Frontier, which won the James Broussard Prize from the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic. He is also the author of numerous book chapters and articles on religion and early America, and has received grants and fellowships from many organizations, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Antiquarian Society, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Massachusetts Historical Society. Dr. Jortner is a frequent contributor to the American history podcast BackStory and a former script editor for the children’s television show Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?

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LOVE IT - great way to present history, too

I have listened to many audiobooks over the last several years, and this one has surprisingly been my favorite. I'm not a fan of history but this presentation really made me rethink that. Fascinating topic, presented so well. Definitely not a bland 'read.' I decided to give this a chance after hearing over and over that the US was a 'christian nation' from the start and wanting to learn if that was really true.

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really informative but also a fun listen

dr jortner is very insightful and this course offers a lot of fun facts for learning