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Christianity and Freedom
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Book description

In Volume 1 of Christianity and Freedom, leading historians uncover the unappreciated role of Christianity in the development of basic human rights and freedoms from antiquity through today. These include radical notions of dignity and equality, religious freedom, liberty of conscience, limited government, consent of the governed, economic liberty, autonomous civil society, and church-state separation, as well as more recent advances in democracy, human rights, and human development. Acknowledging that the record is mixed, scholars document how the seeds of freedom in Christianity antedate and ultimately undermine later Christian justifications and practices of persecution. Drawing from history, political science, and sociology, this volume will become a standard reference work for historians, political scientists, theologians, students, journalists, business leaders, opinion shapers, and policymakers.

Reviews

'… A fine collection of essays. It makes a strong case both implicitly and explicitly that freedom owes far more to Christianity than secular accounts recognize. The volume is essential reading for those interested in the history of freedom.'

Glenn Sunshine Source: Journal of Church and State

'Most parts of the long story told by the essays in Volume 1, Historical Perspectives, have been told previously, often by contributors to this volume. But I know of no previous volume in which that long story is told in its entirety.'

Nicholas Wolterstorff Source: Comment

'A particular strength of this collection of essays is that none of the authors denies that Christians and Christian institutions have on many occasions violated the rightful freedoms of others. This frank acknowledgment, however, is accompanied by an argument that permeates many of the papers: that it was, for the most part, Christianity that provided the moral, theological, and cultural principles upon which Christians and others have drawn to condemn unjust coercion.'

Samuel Samuel Gregg Source: The Public Discourse

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