The Religious Origins of American Freedom and Equality

The Religious Origins of American Freedom and Equality : A Response to John Rawls

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The Religious Origins of American Freedom and Equality provides a compelling contribution to the discussion of the separation of church and state. Showing how the principles of freedom and equality on which separation is based have a religious origin, this book provides a vivid alternative to the construction of public reason in John Rawls's Political Liberalism.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 156 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 10.16mm | 249.48g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0739194569
  • 9780739194560
  • 2,266,202

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Introduction: The Hermeneutics of Church and State Chapter 2: Political Liberalism and the Supreme Court: Religious Liberty and the Wall of Separation Metaphor Chapter 3: Intimations of Modernity in the Thought of John Calvin Chapter 4: Covenant, Communion and Awakening: Puritanism and the Theological Roots of American Liberalism Chapter 5: Conclusion: The Problem of Objectivity and the Question of Translation Greenawalt in the Twilight
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Review quote

A great merit of David Peddle's The Religious Origins of American Freedom and Equality is that it avoids both extremes of the Rawls debate...Peddle's book has the virtue of reminding us of the importance that religion played in America's most formative years. It would be perilous to go forward forgetting from whence we came and the ideas that have shaped us. Peddle does a commendable job at keeping both directions in mind and what he has to say should be taken seriously by both the friends and foes of Rawls's political theory. Interpretation David Peddle's important new book, The Religious Origins of American Freedom and Equality, is a truly remarkable contribution to contemporary political philosophy. In it, he offers a serious critique of the Rawlsian paradigm and points to a deeper and more historically grounded account of the relation of church and state in America. The account of American liberalism given by Peddle not only corrects Rawls, but it serves the broader goal of moving beyond the calcified division between the 'religious right' and the 'secular left' by suggesting a new lens through which to view the roles of church and state in contemporary America. Rooted in a serious engagement with the seventeenth- and eighteenth- century philosophical foundations of the American regime, as well as the recognition of the religious antecedents which provided the ground for the enlightenment thinkers, Peddle demonstrates that it is possible to connect religious life with objective political forms in a way that neither is threatened or truncated. Perhaps as remarkable as the intellectual undertaking itself is Peddle's humility of expression and accessible style that belies the breadth and depth of his scholarship. -- Barry Craig, St. Thomas University
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About David Peddle

David Peddle is associate vice president academic of Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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