Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation | McGill-Queen’s University Press
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Schellenberg Abstract This book presents the sometimes unique, occasionally overlapping, and often mutually reinforcing views of fourteen contemporary philosophers of religion on what is wrong with the status quo in philosophy of religion and, most importantly, how the field could be improved. More This book presents the sometimes unique, occasionally overlapping, and often mutually reinforcing views of fourteen contemporary philosophers of religion on what is wrong with the status quo in philosophy of religion and, most importantly, how the field could be improved.
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Show Summary Details. There are at least four important themes, often applied in combination, that Christians have invoked as a basis for grounding and developing a doctrine of religious freedom. Among other things, this distinction had the effect of limiting the powers of the secular state, thereby creating the possibility of social and civic pluralism, i.
But the belief did not come to approximate its modern form until the seventeenth century at the hands of radical Protestant reformers in Holland, England, and Colonial America. A second and related appeal is to the idea of conscience and its eventual connection to a belief in natural rights. That teaching led Aquinas and most canonists to conclude that apostates and heretics ought to be punished by civil authorities.
Protestant Reformers like Luther and Calvin came to hold a similarly restrictive view.
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It was up to sixteenth century Anabaptists and other radical Christians to defend a more expansive and inclusive interpretation of the right to freedom of conscience. It is assuredly no part of religion to compel religion—to which free-will and not force should lead us. Both emphasize this understanding of dignity as a basis for freedom and the human capacities of reason and will to seek and discover truth and knowledge of God. The example and teachings of Jesus constitute a final appeal in favor of religious freedom. For example, some followers of Jesus emphasized the noncoercive character of Christian communication as against contrary interpretations.
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The eternal judgment of Christ and the separation of believers from non-believers would occur during "the harvest," i. In the meantime, religious tolerance secures worldly interests by preventing civil disorder and also advances spiritual goods by ensuring that the church can freely preach its message and individuals can freely come to authentic faith. Eventually, some Christians came to believe that such teachings required equal freedom in the civil sphere, regardless of creed.
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Van der Vyver, eds. Nijhoff, , p. Related Religious Freedom. Author : David Little Religious freedom as currently understood is the condition in which individuals or groups are permitted without restriction to assent to and, within limits, to express and act upon religious conviction and identity in civil and political life free of coercive interference or penalties imposed by outsiders, including the state.