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A Paradise of Reason – William Bentley and Enlightenment Christianity in the Early Republic - Oxford Scholarship Online
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A Paradise of Reason: William Bentley and Enlightenment Christianity in the Early Republic

J. Rixey Ruffin


William Bentley was a Congregationalist pastor in Salem, Massachusetts, during the first few decades of independence. He was also a figure quite unlike anyone else in all of America. In talent, vision, and most importantly ideas, he was a unique and heretofore underappreciated member of the founding generation. To study his life is to study the intellectual world in which he moved and through which he cut a unique and illustrative path. In theological terms, he was both an Arminian and what this book calls a “Christian naturalist,” a combination that was both unique and volatile. For if his be ... More

Keywords: William Bentley, Salem, Massachusetts, Christianity, Enlightenment, American Revolution, early republic, Unitarianism, intellectual history, biography

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780195326512
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326512.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

J. Rixey Ruffin, author
University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
Author Webpage