The declaration of independence and god: Self-evident truths in American law

Research output: Book/ReportBook

3 Scopus citations


"Self-evident truths" was a profound concept used by the drafters of the American Declaration of Independence to insist on their rights and freedom from oppressive government. How did this Enlightenment notion of self-evident human rights come to be used in this historic document and what is its true meaning? In The Declaration of Independence and God, Owen Anderson traces the concept of a self-evident creator through America’s legal history. Starting from the Declaration of Independence, Anderson considers both challenges to belief in God from thinkers like Thomas Paine and American Darwinists, as well as modifications to the concept of God by theologians like Charles Finney and Paul Tillich. Combining history, philosophy, and law in a unique focus, this book opens exciting new avenues for the study of America’s legal history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781316104682
ISBN (Print)9781107088184
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Legal history
  • Political theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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