January 4, 2006 "The Founders on Religion: A Book of Quotations" is the Subject of a Book Talk on Feb. 2

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

James Hutson will discuss his new book “The Founders on Religion: A Book of Quotations” at the Library of Congress at noon on Thursday, Feb. 2, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S. E., Washington, D.C.

The event, which is sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, is free and open to the public; no reservations are required.

“The Founders on Religion” is a lively collection of quotations on everything from the relationship between church and state to the status of women. The founders quoted here range from the most pious to the steadfastly unorthodox. The book illuminates the founders’ positions on more than 70 topics, including death, the afterlife, divorce, the raising of children, the reliability of biblical texts and the nature of other religions.

In compiling his book, Hutson, who is chief of the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress, conducted careful examinations of original documents, many from the collections of the Library.

David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and biographer, said Hutson’s book “should be required reading for everyone who teaches or preaches, for every serious student of religion and the good society, every public servant, indeed for every American who care about the extraordinary minds and bedrock convictions of those we rightly honor as the founders.”

Mark Noll, author of “America’s God: From Jonathan Edward to Abraham Lincoln” and former holder of the Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in American History and Ethics at the Kluge

Center, said Hutson’s book is “a very well researched, attractively organized, historically reliable, often entertaining and sometimes moving treatment of a set of related subjects that remain important for historical purposes as well as for contemporary public discussion. No other book of quotations from the founders has been so carefully selected and edited.”

Hutson has been a faculty member of the history departments at Yale University and the College of William and Mary. His books include “Religion and the Founding of the American Republic” and “Forgotten Features of the Founding: The Recovery of Religious Themes in the Early American Republic.”

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000. The center brings leading scholars together with key Washington policymakers to discuss important world issues, drawing on the Library’s incomparable national and international collections. For information about the fellowships, grants and programs offered by the Kluge Center, visit www.loc.gov/kluge.


PR 06-003
ISSN 0731-3527