Download PDF by J. Rixey Ruffin: A Paradise of Reason: William Bentley and Enlightenment

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By J. Rixey Ruffin

William Bentley, pastor in Salem, Massachusetts from 1783 to his demise in 1819, used to be in contrast to a person else in America's founding new release, for he had come to designated conclusions approximately how most sensible to keep up a standard realizing of Christianity in a global ever altering via the forces of the Enlightenment.

Like a few of his contemporaries, Bentley preached a liberal Christianity, with its benevolent God and salvation via ethical residing, yet he-and in New England he alone-also preached a rational Christianity, one who provided new and radical claims in regards to the strength of God and the attributes of Jesus. Drawing on over 1000 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 additionally in God's unwillingness to intrude in nature after the Resurrection. In adopting this kind of place, Bentley had driven his religion so far as he may possibly towards rationalism whereas nonetheless, he proposal, calling it Christianity.

But this ebook is as a lot a social and political heritage of Salem within the early republic because it is an highbrow biography; it not just delineates Bentley's principles, yet maybe extra vital, it unravels their social and political results. utilizing Bentley's impressive diary and an enormous archive of newspaper bills, 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 examine 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 firm 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 point of view 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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