History Department
History Department

"Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders" by Denise A. Spellberg (IHS History Faculty New Book Talk)

Fri, October 18, 2013 | GAR 4.100

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The History Faculty New Book Series presents:

Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders (Knopf, October 2013), by Denise A. Spellberg.

Friday, Oct. 18 | 3:00 p.m. | GAR 1.102

Reviewed in The Daily Beast, Sep. 29:

Excerpted in Salon, Oct. 5:

“Denise Spellberg has done a great thing here by recovering the spirit and the substance of Thomas Jefferson's vision of true religious liberty. For Jefferson and many of his Founding colleagues, the shift from ‘toleration’ to ‘liberty’ marked a profound change, extending protection and, yes, sanctuary to those of any faith whatsoever, including those of no faith. By focusing on the Jeffersonian understanding of Islam, Spellberg tells a fresh story in engaging fashion and shows us that the past, while surely not perfect, still has much to teach us all these years distant.”
—Jon Meacham, winner of the Pulitzer prize and author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

“An impressive and timely book, explaining in detail the universalism of Jefferson’s religious toleration, his contemplation of full citizenship and equality not only for Jews and Catholics but for Muslims as well, while still accepting the traditional view of the ‘errors’ of Islam. Denise Spellberg documents in detail ‘where, when, and how Muslims were first included in American ideals.’ An exploration of the extent of the Founders’ pluralism, the book is not only a notable addition to our understanding of Jefferson but a significant comment on the world today.”
—Bernard Bailyn. Two-time winner of the Pulitzer prize and author of The Barbarous Years

No RSVP needed. Please email Courtney to receive a copy of the reading selection to be discussed.

Sponsored by: Institute for Historical Studies in the Department of History

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