GOD and The Founders

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God and the Founders
Madison, Washington, and Jefferson

Did the Founding Fathers intend to build a ‘‘wall of separation’’ between
church and state? Are public displays of the Ten Commandments or the
phrase ‘‘under God’’ in the Pledge of Allegiance consistent with the
Founders’ understandings of religious freedom? In God and the Founders,
Dr. Vincent Phillip Mun˜oz answers these questions by providing new,
comprehensive interpretations of James Madison, George Washington,
and Thomas Jefferson. By analyzing Madison’s, Washington’s, and Jef
ferson’s public documents, private writings, and political actions, Mun˜oz
explains the Founders’ competing church state political philosophies.
Mun˜oz explores how Madison, Washington, and Jefferson agreed and
disagreed by showing how their different principles of religious freedom
would decide the Supreme Court’s most important First Amendment reli
gion cases. God and the Founders answers the question, ‘‘What would the
Founders do?’’ for the most pressing church state issues of our time,
including prayer in public schools, government support of religion, and
legal burdens on individuals’ religious consciences.
Dr. Vincent Phillip Mun˜oz is the Tocqueville Associate Professor of
Religion and Public Life in the Department of Political Science at the
University of Notre Dame. He has held appointments at Princeton
University, Tufts University, Seattle University School of Law, and North
Carolina State University.

God and the Founders
Madison, Washington, and Jefferson

˜ OZ
University of Notre Dame


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Cambridge University Press
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Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York

Information on this title: 
© Vincent Phillip Munoz 2009
This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the
provision of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part
may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.
First published in print format 2009



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