Roosevelt the Christian

Here is what looks like a useful new book on FDR’s Christian beliefs and how they influenced his progressive politics: A Christian and a Democrat: A Religious Biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt (Eerdmans), by John F. Woolverton.

“When asked at a press conference about the roots of his political philosophy, President Franklin Roosevelt responded, “I am a Christian and a Democrat.” This volume—part of the popular and widely acclaimed Library of Religious Biography series—tells the story of how the first informed the second, showing how FDR’s upbringing in the Episcopal Church and education at the Groton School under legendary headmaster and minister Endicott Peabody formed him into a leader whose politics were fundamentally shaped by the social gospel.

A work begun by religious historian John Woolverton (1926-2014) and recently completed by James Bratt, A Christian and a Democrat is an engaging analysis of the surprisingly significant religious life of one of the most important presidents in US history. Reading Woolverton’s account of FDR’s response to the toxic demagoguery of his day will reassure readers today that a constructive way forward is possible for Christians, for Americans, for the world.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: