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At this particular moment in American political history, when a yawning chasm between liberal and religious worldviews is widely perceived to exist, a book that boldly asserts an integral relationship between liberalism and religious faith is a startling and in many respects salutary event. In ‘God, Locke, and Equality: Christian Foundations in Locke's Political Thought’, a subtly reasoned and provocative new book, the legal philosopher Jeremy Waldron urges us to reconsider the contemporary estrangement between liberal and religious thought. He does so with a probing and novel contemporary reading of the political philosophy of John Locke, one that centers on the theological foundations of Locke's conception of human equality. According to Waldron, the Christian underpinnings of Locke's thought are not anachronistic features that can be discarded by later readers, leaving a fully operational secular theory behind. On the contrary, Waldron argues, Locke's Christian beliefs were indispensable to his thinking about human equality and lie at the core of his justification for the principle, so much so that they cannot be removed from the account without the whole theory of human equality collapsing.
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