Review of Daniel L. Dreisbach: ‘Religion and Politics in the Early Republic: Jasper Adams and the Church-State Debate’
3 Pages Posted: 27 May 2011 Last revised: 14 Jan 2020
Date Written: 2001
Jefferson’s axioms of separation of church and state and discouragement of public religion are well known. However, they are more nuanced than typically stated, and were controversial even during his time. Daniel L. Dreisbach explains that Jasper Adams held another nineteenth century view, far from that of Jefferson. Adams insisted on disestablishment of religion and freedom of religion. Adams still believed that America needed a fund of common religious values, such as honesty, diligence, patriotism, etc. Jasper Adams viewed these traits as essential to the preservation of liberty, morality, and rule of law. Dreisbach’s work on Jasper Adams is essential reading and an enduring contribution to any library.
Keywords: Thomas Jefferson, Separation of Church and State, Public Religion, Jasper Adams, Daniel L. Dreisbach
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