Faith and the American Presidency



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The editors of Christian History & Biography

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Never before in American history have so many presidential candidates been identified with a strong, personal faith. There are no "religious" candidates because all are religious in one way or another. The question is: What difference does this make once the person is in office?


While we can’t predict the future, we can look to the past to give us a clue. Written by leading American historians, Faith and the American Presidency shows how the personal beliefs of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and Ronald Reagan—among others—shaped their public policies.


What readers will see is that religious faith does indeed shape the presidency in ways that are both subtle and unexpected.


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Table of Contents


Introduction: Nine Presidential Moments
Mark Galli


Chapter 1: George Washington: American Moses
Gary Scott Smith


Chapter 2: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams: The Rancorous Referendum on Church and State
Daniel L. Dreisbach


Chapter 3: Abraham Lincoln: War and the Will of God
Ronald C. White Jr.


Chapter 4: William McKinley: A Nation on a Divine Mission
Richard Pierard


Chapter 5: Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson: Champions of the ‘Democratic’ Bible
Mark Noll


Chapter 6: Harry Truman: The ‘Cyrus’ of Israel
Paul Charles Merkley


Chapter 7: Ronald Reagan: Re-Moralizing America
Paul Kengor


Appendix 1: The Presidents and their Denominations


Appendix 2: The Presidents on God


Appendix 3: Recommended Reading


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