The young scholars who proposed a dialogue between John Modern and myself, and who then contributed sparkling insights of their own to that dialogue, deserve hearty thanks. They have taken seriously the main arguments, along with many of the details, in Modern's Secularism in Antebellum America and my America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln. In so doing, they spotlighted lacunae, advanced new perspectives, and proposed the best kind of questions for probing the complicated religious-political-personal-social-economic relationships in antebellum America. I am particularly indebted to them for pointing out aspects of my work that require clarification and for helping me see more clearly what John Modern's work accomplished.
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