Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?" at Boston Trinity Academy

It is always very gratifying when I learn that students are reading one of my books. A couple of weeks ago I received a nice letter from my friend Judy Oulund. She chairs the history department at Boston Trinity Academy, a multicultural college-preparatory academy in Boston's Hyde Park neighborhood.  Boston Trinity's American history teacher, Mike Milway, had his students read Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction last semester and write an essay on the book. (The essays are hand-written as if they were done in class as part of an examination).  Judy was nice enough to send along some of the essays with these words: "After you've published something you really have no idea who is reading your work or what they are making of it.  Well--here you have 3 seniors in the heart of Boston.  Enjoy and I hope you will be encouraged."

Here are a few short excerpts:

Paper 1: "Overall, ambiguity reigns at the conclusion of Fea's study, but while it remains a well-researched book, the evidence favors mostly the un-Christian America."

Paper 2: "Fea's book leaves the question hanging in the air.  He does not attempt to outline exactly what one must conclude.  Although he does condemn conservative evangelicals, this is out of a desire for a nuanced approach to historical analysis."

Paper 3:  " is impossible to write completely without a bias, and Fea's bias implies his belief that America was founded as a nation of Christians who did not always hold to their beliefs...."

These seniors are bright.  I don't know how long they had to write these essays, but all of them run about 10-12 pages of handwritten text.  Thanks Ms. Oulund and Mr. Milway for using my book. Good things are happening at Boston Trinity Academy.