Religion in the Age of Enlightenment


Kevin L. Cope


Religion in the Age of Enlightenment, review


Many years ago, Walter Jackson Bate was asked by a student in a general education class what he thought about "Coleridge, you know, his opium use:' Jack Bate, ever the master of the comically surly rebuttal, retorted, "What do you want me to say, well, naughty naughty?" So it is with regard to that band of culturally ambitious yet permanently rusticated idealists and ideologues who once traded under the name "the founding fathers of America:' Having lived for decades, even centuries, atop the plinths and amid the applause created by Parson Weems, textbook authors, documentary directors, and special event producers, those gentlemen whose images grace American currency now face calumny and reprobation from contemporary historians and critics eager to draw attention to themselves by discovering the cracks in the finely sculpted images of would-be American idols.