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Grant number like: FT-53386-05

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Matthew Simpson
Luther College (Decorah, IA 52101-1041)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2005 – 7/31/2005

Religion and Liberty in Locke's "Two Treatises"

Locke was undoubtedly a liberal, meaning that he believed the primary purpose of the state should be to protect people's freedom, not to enforce morality. Yet he argued for liberalism on the basis of a specific Christian theology. This means, paradoxically, that he gave religious arguments for the view that the state should not try to enforce a religious ethics. However, the relationship between Locke's Christianity and his liberalism, although essential, is poorly understood. This project will examine in a new way how his political theory follows from his religious views, thereby clarifying the foundations of his philosophy as well as his legacy for the American political experience.