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The Moral Theology of Roger Williams: Christian Conviction and Public Ethics (Columbia Series in Reformed Theology) [Hardcover]

By James Calvin Davis (Author)
Our Price $ 21.21  
Retail Value $ 24.95  
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Item Number 154481  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   178
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.14" Width: 6.32" Height: 0.82"
Weight:   0.96 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2004
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN  0664227708  
EAN  9780664227708  


Availability  0 units.


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Item Description...
Overview
Roger Williams, New England troublemaker and founder of Rhode Island, is seldom included among the great figures in American Reformed theology. Yet Williams's arguments for religious liberty were deeply rooted in Puritan Calvinism. This book explores the "moral theology" that informed Williams's spirited defense of toleration, demonstrating how Reformed theology in Williams's hands allowed him to defend the integrity of religious convictions while also making the case for conversation and cooperation with moral citizens outside his circle of faith. The Columbia Series in Reformed Theology represents a joint commitment by Columbia Theological Seminary and Westminster John Knox Press to provide theological resources from the Reformed tradition for the church today. This series examines theological and ethical issues that confront church and society in our own particular time and place.

Publishers Description

Roger Williams, New England troublemaker and founder of Rhode Island, is seldom included among the great figures in American Reformed theology. Yet Williams's arguments for religious liberty were deeply rooted in Puritan Calvinism. This book explores the "moral theology" that informed Williams's spirited defense of toleration, demonstrating how Reformed theology in Williams's hands allowed him to defend the integrity of religious convictions while also making the case for conversation and cooperation with moral citizens outside his circle of faith.

The Columbia Series in Reformed Theology represents a joint commitment by Columbia Theological Seminary and Westminster John Knox Press to provide theological resources from the Reformed tradition for the church today. This series examines theological and ethical issues that confront church and society in our own particular time and place.



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More About James Calvin Davis

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! James Calvin Davis is professor of religion at Middlebury College and an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He is also the author of In Defense of Civility: How Religion Can Unite America on Seven Moral Issues That Divide Us.

James Calvin Davis has an academic affiliation as follows - Middlebury College.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious   [5128  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Protestant   [815  similar products]



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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Will Roger Williams' Vision Suffice?  Apr 2, 2006
This book is a tour de force of scholarship and is a delightful and interesting read. The author reveals Roger Williams rootedness in reformed theology, and at the same time his support for toleration, reason, civility, and conscience as antidotes to the harsh, persecuting ways of his reformed, Puritan brothers in Massachusetts. This volume is developed with patience and care, and one sees how Williams believed that spirited debate between reformed religionists and other belief systems was compatible with allowing complete access to the civil polity by those other religionists, e.g., Jews, Muslims, and Catholics. Williams had difficulty applying his principle of toleration to the Quakers, and this shows us that life will challenge even the best of intentions.
Prof. Davis demonstrates a high degree of scholarly integrity in the work as he details points of disagreement between the Puritans, especially John Cotton, and Williams and how Williams often repeated to Cotton the question: how could the Puritans be so harsh and persecute dissidents when they themselves had been victims of persecution? It was a good question, and the book is convincing that Williams' approach was a necessary and fruitful antidote to the harshness and, to some degree, hypocrisy of the Puritan position.
Through no fault of the book, I am somewhat uncomfortable with R. Williams and the author's view that tolerance, civility, conscience and dialgoue are the keys to successful pluralism.
The history of the past century -- WWI, fascism, communism, WWII, other attacks on civilization and civility/conscience -- suggests that the sinful inner condition of mankind is not responsive to the call for dialogue and the welcoming attitude shown by even our most well-intentioned citizens. Even today, Islamic radicals reject the requirements of natural law, reason, civility, and conscience. We need a greater commitment to enduring Judeo-Christian moral values if we are to sustain a viable family life and social cohesion. Survival, even, may hang in the balance.
Derek Jarrett, a longtime professor of history at Oxford, in his amazing little book The Sleep of Reason: Fantasy and Reality from the Vicorian Age to the First World War, wrote about the decline of the power of reason (including in that term natural law, civility, and conscience) to advance our quest for Godly compatibility and peace prior to WWI. To me this shows that our view of God prior to that time was superficial. We need a more absolutist view, if you will, of God's grace, His commands, and His purpose. In this sense, the Puritans of Massachusetts were correct,although they were too oblivious to the rights of others. We need to right the balance in the direction of restored Judeo-Christian values. At the same time, we also need to incorporate freedom which is also God-given and God-driven ("the truth will set you free" John 8:32). Thus we need again to see ourselves more as sinful man in need of redemption, a redemption which only the Cross of Christ can give, yet,at the same time, challenged to retain a sense of universal human dignity which freedom implies.
 

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