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Liberty in the Things of God

The Christian Origins of Religious Freedom

Robert Louis Wilken



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Yale University
02 July 2019
Religion & beliefs; Philosophy of religion; Religion & politics; History of religion; Christianity
From one of the leading historians of Christianity comes this sweeping reassessment of religious freedom, from the church fathers to John Locke In the ancient world Christian apologists wrote in defense of their right to practice their faith in the cities of the Roman Empire. They argued that religious faith is an inward disposition of the mind and heart and cannot be coerced by external force, laying a foundation on which later generations would build.

Chronicling the history of the struggle for religious freedom from the early Christian movement through the seventeenth century, Robert Louis Wilken shows that the origins of religious freedom and liberty of conscience are religious, not political, in origin. They took form before the Enlightenment through the labors of men and women of faith who believed there could be no justice in society without liberty in the things of God. This provocative book, drawing on writings from the early Church as well as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, reminds us of how the meditations of the past were fitted to affairs of a later day. ]]>
By:   Robert Louis Wilken
Imprint:   Yale University
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 248mm,  Width: 163mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   546g
ISBN:   9780300226638
ISBN 10:   0300226632
Pages:   248
Publication Date:   02 July 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Robert Louis Wilken is William R. Kenan Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity at the University of Virginia. His many books include The First Thousand Years, The Spirit of Early Christian Thought, and The Christians as the Romans Saw Them.

Reviews for Liberty in the Things of God: The Christian Origins of Religious Freedom

A vibrant picture of where leading ideas about religious freedom came from and how they emerged. -Robert P. George, Princeton University A remarkable work of daring and vision, moving from early Christianity to the eighteenth century with confidence and authority, from a distinguished historian of Christian history with a sharp eye for key intellectual developments. -Bruce Gordon, Yale University

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