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A Paradise of ReasonWilliam Bentley and Enlightenment Christianity in the Early Republic$
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J. Rixey Ruffin

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326512.001.0001

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 Classical Liberalism

 Classical Liberalism

Chapter:
(p.45) 2 Classical Liberalism
Source:
A Paradise of Reason
Author(s):

J. Rixey Ruffin (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326512.003.0004

The theological claims called Arminianism were, in 18th‐century New England at least, attached to a set of economic, social, and political ideas as well. In questions of wealth and class, race, and gender, Arminians, including William Bentley, were also subscribers to the ideology of classical liberalism. This chapter examines that connection and its widely felt implications for the lives of his congregants and townspeople. The new minister's views on poverty and the proper kinds of Christian charity, women and their place in public life, and the slave trade were all of great interest. What they all found was that while classical liberalism's desire to elevate law and reason over arbitrariness and whim did remove the fear of a tyrannical deity, it also removed the hopes of effecting social change through protest and passion.

Keywords:   ideology, Arminianism, classical liberalism, gender, women, race, slavery, class, poverty, charity

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