• God and Man at the University of Virginia

    Author(s):
    Cameron Addis (see profile)
    Date:
    2019
    Subject(s):
    Freedom of religion, Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826, Enlightenment
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/w73t-0552
    Abstract:
    This chapter examines the early religious history of Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia. Jefferson's contemporaries agreed in principle that education should reinforce republicanism among citizens, but his Enlightenment notion that public education should emphasize scientific over scriptural revelation was controversial, as was his idea of universal ethics rooted in “peace, reason, and morality.” Here, Jefferson struggled to reconcile his commitment to participatory democracy and religious freedom as denominational leaders angled to control UVA in the manner customary throughout the western world. The result was a partial realization of the ideal that Jefferson and James Madison established in their 1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, as pluralism thrived at UVA amidst criticism during the 19th century, but only within the boundaries of Protestantism. UVA anticipated modern public universities that allow denominations and seminaries in and around campus without privileging one above others, and that teach about religion while avoiding mandatory indoctrination.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    10 months ago
    License:
    Attribution

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