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This book offers the first comprehensive examination of the role of religion in the proceedings, theories, ideas and goals of the Continental Congress. Those who argue that the U.S. was founded as a "Christian Nation" have made much of the religiosity of the founders, particularly as it was manifested in ritual invocations of a clearly Christian God. Congress's religious activities, Davis shows, expressed an unreflective popular piety, and by no means a determination of the revolutionaries to entrench religion in the federal state.
An outstanding chapter on "virtue" displays Davis's reasoning at its most persuasive (American Historical Review, June 2001)
offers a fresh, informative account of official "American" actions and attitudes toward religion before the implementation of the United States Constitution. (American Historical Review, June 2001)
Derek H. Davis ... is a scrupulous historian. (Patrick Allitt, TLS 5/1/01.)