Benjamin Franklin and His Gods

Benjamin Franklin and His Gods

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Description

Against the religious backdrop of pre- and postcolonial America stands the towering figure - and mind - of Benjamin Franklin. A Renaissance man in a Revolutionary time, Franklin had interests and knowledge not only in religion but in literature, philosophy, politics, publishing, history, and scientific inquiry, among many other disciplines. Kerry S. Walters examines Franklin's search for the Divine using a similar, multifaceted approach - and in so doing has created the first extended treatment of Franklin's religious thought in thirty years. Walters brings the same intellectual range and depth to the understanding of Franklin's beliefs that Franklin brought to his own quest. What emerges from this pilgrimage into the soul of one of America's greatest figures is a very human Benjamin Franklin who grew with the accumulation of knowledge to arrive at a 'theistic perspectivism', which provided him with a philosophical explanation for the diversity of religious faiths - and a justification for the liberty of conscience he advocated throughout his life. "Benjamin Franklin and His Gods" is an original and beautifully challenging spiritual and intellectual biography. It is destined to be a classic.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 232 pages
  • 154.9 x 228.6 x 17.3mm | 358.34g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0252067398
  • 9780252067396
  • 2,015,873

Back cover copy

Against the religious backdrop of pre- and post-colonial America stands the towering figure of Benjamin Franklin. A Renaissance man in a revolutionary time, Franklin had interests and knowledge not only in religion but also in literature, philosophy, politics, publishing, history, and scientific inquiry.Benjamin Franklin and His Gods in the first extended treatment in thirty years of Franklin's religious thought. Bringing the same intellectual range and depth to the understanding of Franklin's beliefs that Franklin brought to his own quest, Kerry Walters cuts across the disciplines of American studies, religion, and philosophy to challenge the standard interpretation of Franklin's religious thought. Walters argues that Franklin's writings reflect a "theistic perspectivism" that accounts for his advocacy of tolerance, his apparently contradictory appraisals of divine providence, and the liberty of conscience he championed throughout his life. This balanced and broad-based assessment of a central figure in America's cultural history reveals for the first time the intellectual breadth and sophistication of Franklin's religious thought.show more

Review quote

"Accomplishes a nearly impossible task. In [Walters'] analysis of Franklin's religious beliefs, he makes sense of what Franklin himself had trouble sorting out... Walters offers an excellent analysis of Franklin's sometimes contradictory writings on religious faith." -- Dan Williams, American Literatureshow more

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