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Review Essay: Is Christian America Invented? And Why Does It Matter?

Hunter Baker


After many years of earnest disputation, we remain fascinated by the question of what the United States genetic identity really is, especially in regard to religion. In the previous century, academics memorably battled over Charles Beards Marxist economic interpretation of the American founding. Today, the religious question preoccupies us. Was America a Christian nation? If it was, then is it still one today? Does the past set a claim on the present or the future? More questions crop up. Were early Americans actually predominantly Christian? Did they go to church? What about the separation of church and state? Did the founders envision a warm relationship between the two entities or a strict division? Even among the separationists, was the impulse more about protecting the church from corruption or preventing religious fanatics from imposing their beliefs on everyone?

Hunter Baker, "Review Essay: Is Christian America Invented? And Why Does It Matter?" Journal of Markets & Morality 18, no. 2 (Fall 2015): 391-400.

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