The Biblical Politics of John Locke by Kim Ian Parker

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By Kim Ian Parker

John Locke is usually considered one of many founders of the Enlightenment, a circulation that sought to dispose of the Bible and faith and change them with clinical realism. yet Locke used to be tremendous attracted to the Bible, and he used to be engaged via biblical theology and faith all through his lifestyles. during this new ebook, K.I. Parker considers Locke’s curiosity in Scripture and the way that curiosity is articulated within the improvement of his political philosophy.

Parker indicates that Locke’s liberalism is electrified through his non secular imaginative and prescient and, fairly, his special realizing of the early chapters of the publication of Genesis. not like Sir Robert Filmer, who understood the Bible to justify social hierarchies (i.e., the divine correct of the king, the first-born son’s rights over different siblings, and the “natural” subservience of girls to men), Locke understood from the Bible that people are in a ordinary nation of freedom and equality to one another. The biblical debate among Filmer and Locke furnishes students with a greater figuring out of Lockes political opinions as awarded in his Two Treatises.

The Biblical Politics of John Locke demonstrates the influence of the Bible on probably the most influential thinkers of the 17th century, and gives an unique context during which to situate the talk in regards to the origins of early glossy political concept.

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52 This brief sketch of John Locke depicts a man intensely interested in scripture throughout his life, an interest not merely the result of living in an age when every learned individual was interested in theology. His views on scripture are important for anyone who attempts to come to grips with his major works, including Two Treatises, A Letter Concerning Toleration, the Essay, and of course The Reasonableness of Christianity and A Paraphrase and Notes. His minor essays are filled with scriptural references of all kinds, and it goes without saying that biblical theology was never very far from his thoughts.

It was written in Latin and addressed to his friend van Limborch, but not published until April 1689 when it appeared anonymously as the Epistola de Tolerantia. In 1685 the Catholic monarch James ii had just succeeded to the throne of England, and Louis xiv of France had revoked the Edict of Nantes, which meant that Protestants could be actively persecuted in the name of religious uniformity. In Locke’s mind, Europe was becoming increasingly intolerant and Catholic. In the Letter, he attacked those who would promote Christianity by force: Christianity was a religion of peace, and people were more likely to be persuaded of the truth of the religion through rational rather than physical means.

Locke’s policy towards the poor, such as his enforced-work scheme, is especially perplexing in light of his liberal tendencies elsewhere. Something of this inconsistency is seen in the way the Board tried to control the Irish linen trade, to the benefit of English manufacturers, a proposal that Locke endorsed. William Molyneux, Locke’s Irish friend, was outraged and in 1698 published his book on the issue, The Case of Ireland. Molyneux’s argument was that no country has the right to interfere with the policies of another as to do so would be incompatible with the political rights set out in the Two Treatises.

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