New PDF release: A Paradise of Reason: William Bentley and Enlightenment

By J. Rixey Ruffin

William Bentley, pastor in Salem, Massachusetts from 1783 to his loss of life in 1819, was once not like a person else in America's founding new release, for he had come to certain conclusions approximately how top 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 dwelling, yet he-and in New England he alone-also preached a rational Christianity, one who provided new and radical claims in regards to the energy of God and the attributes of Jesus. Drawing on over 1000 of Bentley's sermons, J. Rixey Ruffin strains the evolution of Bentley's theology. Neither liberal nor deist, Bentley was once as a substitute 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 intervene in nature after the Resurrection. In adopting one of these place, Bentley had driven his religion so far as he might towards rationalism whereas nonetheless, he inspiration, 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 rules, yet might be extra vital, it unravels their social and political outcomes. utilizing Bentley's extraordinary diary and an unlimited 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 firm and dissent, the ideological politics of republicanism and classical liberalism, and the occasion politics of Federalism and Democratic-Republicanism. In bringing to gentle the attention-grabbing lifestyles and considered considered one of early New England's best ancient figures, Ruffin bargains a clean viewpoint at the formative negotiations among Christianity and the Enlightenment within the years of America's founding.

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William Bentley, pastor in Salem, Massachusetts from 1783 to his loss of life in 1819, used to be in contrast to someone else in America's founding iteration, for he had come to particular conclusions approximately how top to take care of a standard realizing of Christianity in a global ever altering via the forces of the Enlightenment.

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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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