Event Title

The KJB in the Political Rhetoric of the American Founding

Location

Room A

Start Date

1-10-2011 1:15 PM

End Date

1-10-2011 2:30 PM

Abstract

Scholars have often observed that the American founders frequently alluded to and quoted the Bible in their political rhetoric. This fact alone reveals little about how and for what purposes the founding generation used the Bible and, more important, how the Bible influenced the political thought of the founding era. Drawing on some of the most familiar rhetoric of the founding era, this paper examines the founders’ diverse uses of the Bible in political discourse, ranging from the strictly literary and cultural to the profoundly theological, from the stylistic to the substantive. Recognition of these distinct uses is important insofar as it is misleading to read spiritual meaning into purely political or rhetorical uses of the Bible or vice versa.

Comments

Dr. Daniel Dreisbach earned a doctorate of Philosophy at Oxford University as well as his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia. A prolific writer synthesizing history, law, and theology, his works include a host of book reviews, journal articles, and books. Currently he is Professor of Law and Society at the Washington, D.C. American University.

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Oct 1st, 1:15 PM Oct 1st, 2:30 PM

The KJB in the Political Rhetoric of the American Founding

Room A

Scholars have often observed that the American founders frequently alluded to and quoted the Bible in their political rhetoric. This fact alone reveals little about how and for what purposes the founding generation used the Bible and, more important, how the Bible influenced the political thought of the founding era. Drawing on some of the most familiar rhetoric of the founding era, this paper examines the founders’ diverse uses of the Bible in political discourse, ranging from the strictly literary and cultural to the profoundly theological, from the stylistic to the substantive. Recognition of these distinct uses is important insofar as it is misleading to read spiritual meaning into purely political or rhetorical uses of the Bible or vice versa.