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The Christian Roots of Religious Freedom

The Christian Roots of Religious Freedom (Hardback)

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Religious freedom long pre-dates John Locke and his Enlightenment colleagues, as is widely thought, argues Wilken. He traces it back centuries to the writings of Christian apologists who, in the face of persecution, wrote to defend their right to practice the religion they wished without coercion. He cites the Edict of Milan, issued jointly in 312 by the Roman emperors Constantine in the west and Licinius in the east, which set forth a rationale that allowed all citizens to practice that form of piety each deemed best. Even two years earlier, he says, Galerius, co-emperor with Licinius, had ended the persecution of Christians, saying the policy did not make Christians return to the old gods, and it was better for them to worship Christian gods than no gods at all.

Philosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesReligion & BeliefsChristianity Publisher: Marquette University Press Publication Date: 30/05/2014 ISBN-13: 9781626005006  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Robert Louis Wilken is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of the History of Christianity Emeritus, The University of Virgina, USA. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, specializing in the History of Christianity. Prior to accepting his appointment at The University of Virginia, he taught at University of Notre Dame and Fordham University. He was Lady Davis Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Visiting Professor at the Institutum Patristicum 'Augustinianum,' Rome; and McCarthy Professor at the Gregorian University, Rome. He was President of the American Academy of Religion, 1988-1989, President of the North American Patristic Society, 1985-1986, and President of the Academy of Catholic Theology, 2012-2013.

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