Book Review

Conscience & the Limits of Caesar

Liberty in the Things of God: The Christian Origins of Religious Freedom by Robert Louis Wilken

“It is only right . . . that every person should be able to worship according to his own convictions. For one person’s religion neither harms nor hurts another.”

If you guessed that those were the words of Thomas Jefferson or perhaps James Madison, you would be off by about sixteen centuries. They are from Tertullian, the second-century Latin church father, known especially for coining the term “trinity.” 

A distinguished historian of Christianity, Robert Wilken aims in this “essay,” as he calls it, to reorient our understanding of the history of religious freedom. Today, many educated people . . .

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Thomas Albert Howard is professor of humanities and holder of the Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics at Valparaiso University. He is the editor of The Idea of Tradition in the Late Modern World (Cascade, 2020).

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