Minister looks at founding fathers' faiths

SHELBURNE-In another divisive election year, it's always important to look back at our history. In an engaging new book, area author Gary Kowalski brings to life the complex creeds and personalities of America's founding fathers.

Kowalski's book confronts-from the perspective of its Unitarian minister author-many of the so-called myths about the religious views of some of the most notable figures in history.

Offering clear and candid portraits of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Paine, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison as both religious reformers and political rebels, this analysis tells the illuminating story of these unorthodox men of faith and thought and reclaims their spiritual inheritance for all Americans.

Providing an examination of how the founders' nature-based spirituality was tied to their fascination with science, this book includes discussions about Washington's aversion to the word God in public pronouncements, Jefferson's mathematical calculations to show that the biblical great flood would have been impossible, and Paine's thoughts on the possibilities of alien life.

Kowalski is the senior minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington. He is the author of "Goodbye, Friend", "Science and the Search for God" and "The Souls of Animals."

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