Hannah Smith works on Britain in the period 1660 to 1760 and, in particular, the history of political culture and history of gender. She is currently writing a book about the British army from 1660 to 1750 and has co-edited a collection of essays on civilians and war in early modern Europe. She continues to pursue a research interest in the early Georgian monarchy, the subject of her first book, through work on a new edition of Lord Hervey’s Memoirs of the Reign of King George II, co-edited with Stephen Taylor. Her interest in gender history is reflected in a co-edited volume of essays about religion and women in Britain during the period 1660 to 1760, research on eighteenth-century aristocratic libertinism, and a project on gender and equestrianism.
[The lead for the two essays about religion and science in the Insight section of Mobile Register on April 13 states, "Are Science's core beliefs on a par with those of a religious faith? If not, how do they different? Do religion and science seeks to explain the same phenomena, or do they address fundamentally different aspects of life? All such puzzles arise from two questions: What is Religion? What is Science?" solicited Dr. Sheldon Gottlieb's response to the word "belief" to describe science.]
Essays about Religion: how to stay neutral
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: I am republishing this brief essay here because it has been copied and quoted dozens of times on the internet -- usually without proper attribution or context -- by people engaged in an argument about the role of Christianity and religion in the founding of the United States. The essay originally appeared in The Hanover Historical Review, published at Hanover College in the spring of 1993. I wrote this essay for the first college-level history course that I took at Hanover, “Foundations of the Modern Age,” with Professor Frank Luttmer (who became an excellent mentor to me). I certainly did not intend for the essay to make a definitive statement about the religious beliefs of Thomas Jefferson or about the role of religion in the early American republic. Rather, as a curious freshman, I was trying to answer the question that appears in the title: who was “Nature’s God,” which Jefferson saw fit to mention when he drafted the Declaration of Independence? After I wrote this essay, I became a history major and eventually pursued graduate study in history; today I am a tenured history professor. Although I think that I drew basically correct conclusions here, I am ambivalent about the widespread presence of this essay on the internet, especially given that I went on to publish more sophisticated essays about religion in the early republic.