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Discourse on Civility and Barbarity$
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Timothy Fitzgerald

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195300093

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300093.001.0001

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 Religion, State, and American Constitutionalism

 Religion, State, and American Constitutionalism

(p.267) 9 Religion, State, and American Constitutionalism
Discourse on Civility and Barbarity

Timothy Fitzgerald (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The case of William Penn shows us a dissenter who strove to articulate a new discourse on the essential difference between the external domain of the magistrate and civil society on the one hand, and the private and inner domain of religion on the other. His and Locke's ideas fed into the general stream of American dissent and bills of rights which culminated in the Federal Constitution. Even within the Church of England Bishop Hoadly, often quoted by American revolutionaries, preached to the King the essential distinction authorized by Jesus between the kingdoms of this and the future worlds. That many of these revolutionary ideas were the stuff of sermons and pamphlets written by priests underscores the point that the distinction between religions as private nonpolitical domains of voluntary associations, and politics as a nonreligious domain of public obligation, was a rhetorical formation in the making, a discursive space intended to subvert and replace a radically different and older discourse of Religion as encompassing Christian Truth.

Keywords:   Penn, Locke, Hoadly, American Constitutionalism, sermons, pamphlets, ideological origins of the American Revolution

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