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221_arts_books_reeNature’s God by Matthew Stewart (WW Norton, £20)

The Christian right in the United States is built on the claim that, as Jerry Falwell put it, “our great nation was founded by godly men upon godly principles to be a Christian nation.” At first glance Falwell seems to be right. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams et al certainly saw themselves as followers of Jesus, and their paeans to the American revolution were tinged with apocalyptic theology. But as Matthew Stewart explains in his splendidly polemical account of the…

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