Spring 2020 catalog cover

The Penn Press list for spring 2020 includes hardcover releases, first-time paperbacks, and ebook editions intended for scholars, students, and serious general readers worldwide. Click here to explore our forthcoming books, grouped by subject area.

The Bible and Reason
Anglicans and Scripture in Late Seventheenth-Century England

Gerard Reedy, S.J.

192 pages | 6 x 9
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512806137 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume

"[Gerard] Reedy presents so clear and convincing an analysis of the delicate balance between reason and revelation in Restoration Anglicanism that he offers hope of dispelling once and for all the myth of a generation of confused clerics who unwittingly 'paved the way for deism.'"—Phillip Harth
The Bible and Reason is organized around actual topics of theological controversy from 1660 to 1700: what it means to say that Scripture is true, how Scripture and polity are related, how to conceive the canon of the Scripture, and how to understand challenges to the rational theology in question. Based on the writings of John Tillotson, Edward Stillingfleet, Isaac Barrow, and Robert South, Gerard Reedy's book integrates their theories with the ideas and practices of John Dryden, John Locke, Edward Hyde, the earl of Clarendon, and other contemporary writers and contrasts this traditional scriptural interpretation with the new rationalism of Thomas Hobbes, Spinoza, John Toland, and Richard Simon.

In contrast with the Puritan tradition, the Anglican establishment sponsored Scripture reading based not on the Inner Light, but on a public verification of interpretation, a "rational" method seen in the several proofs Anglicans proposed for the truth of Scripture, in their responses to some assessments of the integrity of Scripture, and in their argument with anti-Trinitarians.

The Bible and Reason is of interest to scholars in seventeenth-century English literature and philosophy, historians of the Bible and modern religion, and researchers in intellectual history.

Gerard Reedy, S.J., is Professor of English at Fordham University. A Jesuit priest, he is also the author of several articles on seventeenth-century poetry and theology.

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