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Editorial: Religion in a Free Society

Kevin Schmiesing


There are two different, though not entirely exclusive, ways of understanding the rise of liberalism, capitalism, and democracy in Europe and its colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In one view, liberalism stands in opposition to what came before; it is a determined attempt to cast off the shackles of political and religious authoritarianism. In this narrative, the Catholic Church at least, and sometimes Christianity more generally, is an important, perhaps the chief, villain. In the other version of the story, liberalism, still a product of human yearning for freedom and fulfillment, is the natural offspring of the Judeo-Christian tradition, which provided essential concepts such as the dignity of the individual person, the distinction between church and state, and the limits of government power in the face of God-given human rights.

Kevin Schmiesing, "Editorial: Religion in a Free Society," Journal of Markets & Morality 21, no. 1 (Spring 2018): 1-2

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