Friday, September 12th, 7 pm: Author Matthew Stewart comes to Falmouth to discuss his book “Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic”
A startling, paradigm-shifting exploration of the revolutionary part of the American Revolution: the ideas that changed the world for good.
Erudite Thomas Jefferson, wily Ben Franklin, rough-hewn General Ethan Allen, and Thomas Young (the forgotten Founder who instigated the Boston Tea Party)-the radicals who founded America set their sights on a revolution of the mind. Derided as “infidels” and “atheists” in their own time, they wanted liberation not just from one king but from the tyranny of supernatural religion. The ideas that inspired them were neither British nor Christian but largely ancient, pagan, and continental: the fecund universe of the dreaded Lucretius; the potent (but nontranscendent) natural divinity of the heretic Spinoza.
From the true meaning of “nature’s God” and “self-evident” in the Declaration of Independence to the sources of our success in science, medicine, the arts, religious toleration, and democratic governance, Matthew Stewart’s lucid and passionate investigation surprises, challenges, enlightens, and entertains as a philosophical detective story of the highest order.