Published on May 13, 2021 by Sean Flynt  
Jonathan Den Hartog
Jonathan Den Hartog

Samford University History Department chair and noted scholar of American colonial history Jonathan Den Hartog contributed to a recent national program of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. As the musical "Hamilton" opened in Sydney, he and scholar of race and religion Anthea Butler were guests on the national “Soul Search” program. The pair offered insights on the religious dimensions of the American Revolution and the lives of Alexander and Eliza Hamilton.

Den Hartog said Alexander Hamilton’s religious views changed over the course of his life, shifting from overt youthful piety to deism or theistic rationalism. Hamilton again became devout at the end of his life. “I think there may be a metaphor for much of American culture during that period, of change over time,” Den Hartog said.

Den Hartog noted that Americans were not unified in religious belief in the colonial period, and still aren’t. “The fact that we have competing religious visions shouldn’t come as a surprise to observers,” he said. "I think it’s been there all along.”

Listen to "Alexander Hamilton and the Religion of the American Revolution"

 
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.