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Religion and Reason in the American Founding

DECEMBER 3, 2010

Religion and reason were dominant and competing themes at the time of the American founding. Some leading political thinkers sought to make Biblical faith and scientific inquiry compatible. This conference explores how this Enlightenment-era effort shaped American politics and civil society.

WELCOME
Thomas M. Landy, Director of the Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture
Daniel Klinghard, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Holy Cross

PANEL ONE
Chaired by Sarah Luria, Associate Professor of English, Holy Cross

  • Locke and Bacon: Liberal Christianity and Faith in Progress - Robert Faulkner, Professor of Political Science, Boston College
  • "Nature's God" as Deus sive Natura: Spinoza, Jefferson, and the Historical Transmission of the Theological-Political Question - Jeffrey Bernstein, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Holy Cross

KEYNOTE

Jonathan IsraelThe Radical Enlightenment's Critique of the American Revolution: Paine, Palmer, Mirabeau and Brissot
-Jonathan Israel, Professor of Modern European History, Institute for Advanced Study

PANEL TWO
Chaired by  Thomas M. Landy, Director of the Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, Holy Cross

  • Benjamin Franklin, Virtue's Ethics, and "Political Truth" - Carla Mulford, Associate Professor of English, Pennsylvania State University
  • In God We Trust? The Madison-Washington Dispute on the Role of Religion in American Public Life - Phillip Munoz, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame
  • Enlightenment and Religion in Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia - Daniel Klinghard, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Holy Cross and Dustin Gish, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, Holy Cross

ROUNDTABLE
Chaired by B. Jeffrey Reno, Associate Professor of Political Science, Holy Cross
and featuring Professors Israel, Faulkner, Mulford, and Munoz