Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the founders

Book Cover
Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf,
Pub. Date:
2013.
Edition:
First Edition.
Language:
English
Description

In this original and illuminating book, Denise A. Spellberg reveals a little-known but crucial dimension of the story of American religious freedom-a drama in which Islam played a surprising role. In 1765, eleven years before composing the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson bought a Qur'an. This marked only the beginning of his lifelong interest in Islam, and he would go on to acquire numerous books on Middle Eastern languages, history, and travel, taking extensive notes on Islam as it relates to English common law. Jefferson sought to understand Islam notwithstanding his personal disdain for the faith, a sentiment prevalent among his Protestant contemporaries in England and America. But unlike most of them, by 1776 Jefferson could imagine Muslims as future citizens of his new country. Based on groundbreaking research, Spellberg compellingly recounts how a handful of the Founders, Jefferson foremost among them, drew upon Enlightenment ideas about the toleration of Muslims (then deemed the ultimate outsiders in Western society) to fashion out of what had been a purely speculative debate a practical foundation for governance in America. In this way, Muslims, who were not even known to exist in the colonies, became the imaginary outer limit for an unprecedented, uniquely American religious pluralism that would also encompass the actual despised minorities of Jews and Catholics. The rancorous public dispute concerning the inclusion of Muslims, for which principle Jefferson's political foes would vilify him to the end of his life, thus became decisive in the Founders' ultimate judgment not to establish a Protestant nation, as they might well have done. As popular suspicions about Islam persist and the numbers of American Muslim citizenry grow into the millions, Spellberg's revelatory understanding of this radical notion of the Founders is more urgent than ever. Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an is a timely look at the ideals that existed at our country's creation, and their fundamental implications for our present and future.

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ISBN:
9780307388391
9780307268228
9780385350532
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 1c96303f-1f52-6494-76da-7f55ce21b886
Grouping Title thomas jefferson s qur an islam and the founders
Grouping Author spellberg denise a
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-02-11 00:36:19AM
Last Indexed 2019-05-21 01:21:26AM

Solr Details

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author Spellberg, Denise A.
author_display Spellberg, Denise A
available_at_aurora Community College of Aurora - CentreTech
detailed_location_aurora Community College of Aurora - CentreTech - Books
display_description "In this original and illuminating book, Denise A. Spellberg reveals a little-known but crucial dimension of the story of American religious freedom-- a drama in which Islam played a surprising role. In 1765, eleven years before composing the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson bought a Qur'an. This marked only the beginning of his lifelong interest in Islam, and he would go on to acquire numerous books on Middle Eastern languages, history, and travel, taking extensive notes on Islam as it relates to English common law. Jefferson sought to understand Islam notwithstanding his personal disdain for the faith, a sentiment prevalent among his Protestant contemporaries in England and America. But unlike most of them, by 1776 Jefferson could imagine Muslims as future citizens of his new country. Based on groundbreaking research, Spellberg compellingly recounts how a handful of the Founders, Jefferson foremost among them, drew upon Enlightenment ideas about the toleration of Muslims (then deemed the ultimate outsiders in Western society) to fashion out of what had been a purely speculative debate a practical foundation for governance in America. In this way, Muslims, who were not even known to exist in the colonies, became the imaginary outer limit for an unprecedented, uniquely American religious pluralism that would also encompass the actual despised minorities of Jews and Catholics. The rancorous public dispute concerning the inclusion of Muslims, for which principle Jefferson's political foes would vilify him to the end of his life, thus became decisive in the Founders' ultimate judgment not to establish a Protestant nation, as they might well have done" -- from publisher's web site.
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owning_library_aurora Community College of Aurora
owning_location_aurora Community College of Aurora - CentreTech
primary_isbn 9780307388391
publishDate 2013
record_details ils:51945|Book|Books|First Edition.|English|Alfred A. Knopf,|2013.|viii, 392 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
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subject_facet Constitutional history -- United States, Freedom of religion -- United States -- History -- 18th century, Islam and politics -- United States, Jefferson, Thomas, -- 1743-1826 -- Political and social views, Jefferson, Thomas, -- 1743-1826 -- Religion, Muslims -- Civil rights -- United States -- History -- 18th century
title_display Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an : Islam and the founders
title_full Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an : Islam and the founders / Denise A. Spellberg
title_short Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an :
title_sub Islam and the founders
topic_facet Civil rights, Constitutional history, Freedom of religion, History, Islam and politics, Jefferson, Thomas, Muslims, Political and social views, Religion