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Mainline ChristianityThe Past and Future of America's Majority Faith$
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Jason S. Lantzer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814753309

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814753309.001.0001

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The Genesis of the Mainline

The Genesis of the Mainline

(p.7) 1 The Genesis of the Mainline
Mainline Christianity

Jason S. Lantzer

NYU Press

This chapter narrates the origins of the Mainline, which began with the Church crisis that culminated in the Protestant Reformation. The Mainline emerged from this not quite into the power of the Seven Sisters but surely with the promise of much to come. The religious diversity and tension established by and over the Great Awakening and Revolutionary War was reflected in the Founding Fathers. Benjamin Franklin was most likely a Deist, despite hailing from a Puritan heritage; Thomas Jefferson though raised an Anglican, also embraced Deism; George Washington was a disinterested Anglican who sought to have religion play a wider role in the life of the nation. Though it is difficult to measure the piety of these Founding Fathers, it is clear that their generation respected religious belief and believed that faith had an important role in the life of the new nation.

Keywords:   Mainline Christianity, Seven Sisters, Protestant Reformation, Great Awakening, Revolutionary War, Founding Fathers, religious belief

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