J. Rixey Ruffin's A Paradise of Reason: William Bentley and Enlightenment PDF

By J. Rixey Ruffin

ISBN-10: 0195326512

ISBN-13: 9780195326512

William Bentley, pastor in Salem, Massachusetts from 1783 to his demise in 1819, was once in contrast to a person else in America's founding new release, for he had come to special conclusions approximately how top to take care of a conventional realizing of Christianity in an international ever altering through the forces of the Enlightenment.

Like a few of his contemporaries, Bentley preached a liberal Christianity, with its benevolent God and salvation via ethical dwelling, yet he-and in New England he alone-also preached a rational Christianity, person who provided new and radical claims in regards to the strength of God and the attributes of Jesus. Drawing on over one thousand of Bentley's sermons, J. Rixey Ruffin lines the evolution of Bentley's theology. Neither liberal nor deist, Bentley used to be in its place what Ruffin calls a "Christian naturalist," a believer within the biblical God and within the crucial Christian narrative but in addition in God's unwillingness to intervene in nature after the Resurrection. In adopting this kind of place, Bentley had driven his religion so far as he may well towards rationalism whereas nonetheless, he concept, calling it Christianity.

But this e-book is as a lot a social and political historical past of Salem within the early republic because it is an highbrow biography; it not just delineates Bentley's principles, yet might be extra vital, it unravels their social and political outcomes. utilizing Bentley's amazing diary and an enormous archive of newspaper debts, tax documents, and electoral returns, Ruffin brings to existence the sailors, widows, captains and retailers who lived with Bentley within the japanese parish of Salem.

A Paradise of Reason is a learn of the highbrow and tangible results of rational faith in mercantile Salem, of theology and philosophy but additionally of ideology: of the social politics of race and sophistication and gender, the ecclesiastical politics of multinational and dissent, the ideological politics of republicanism and classical liberalism, and the get together politics of Federalism and Democratic-Republicanism. In bringing to mild the interesting existence and considered considered one of early New England's finest historic figures, Ruffin bargains a clean standpoint at the formative negotiations among Christianity and the Enlightenment within the years of America's founding.

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A Paradise of Reason: William Bentley and Enlightenment Christianity in the Early Republic (Religion in America) by J. Rixey Ruffin

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