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Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    Highly recommended

    I first discovered information about this book in an article in the 2012 SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE. I was pleased to discover the book is currently available. Today I read a NOOK sample. Currently I am preparing to purchase the book.

    Roger Williams settled in the Massachusetts colony in 1631. Soon he was questioning the understanding of religious issues stated by John Winthrop. A few years later during a blizzard John Winthrop sent troops to arrest Williams in order to send him back to England. Williams left his home that night. Helped by the Indians he was able to survive. He later became the founder of Rhode Island where liberty was allowed without fear of arrest. He provides an undeerstanding of what religious freedom means: freedom to disagree without fear of imprisonment. I look forward to reading in more detail a further discussion of his conclusions: government involvement with religion corrupst religion and mixing religion with politics results in politics. Considering current political discourse it is a very timely subject.

    I suggest one read this book to become more knowledgable about the meaning of the first amendment clause regarding freedom of religion. The issue is a very current one and deserves our best understanding of the issue. I know I will.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    Roger Williams Ideas Retain Relevance Today

    Modern news media headlines daily present issues that trace their origins to the thought of Roger Williams. Here was a man whose early llfe experiences and formal education prepared him to fill a unique role in the eventual formulation of doctrines we view today as the
    underpinning ideals of our American society. Williams developed the concept of separation of church and state, freedom of conscience, and the belief that government derives its power from the consent of the governed. He dwas not the first to express these ideas, but Williams paid dearly for his devotion to his philosophy which he based on Scripture and on his understanding of English common law. The controversy between the intolerance of Puritanism and Williams's willingness to accept the possibility of freedom's resulting in error is reflected in today's political rhetoric contrasting conservative values with more progressive, liberal ideas.

    Rather than dwelling on presenting a narrative of Williams's banishment from Massachusetts, the author concentrated on the development of Williams's thought and its impact on the development of American society.

    I recommend this book to those who are still wrestling with the rights of others to hold opposing viewpoints, Tolerance demands that we not only permit free speech, but we show our dedicatiion to liberty by respecting the rights of others to self-expression, particularly when wwe are convinced they are wrong.


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  • Posted April 22, 2012

    Barry has created more than a simple biography of Roger Williams

    Barry has created more than a simple biography of Roger Williams. Placing Williams into the context of his time, discussing in some detail the religious nuances, and not shying away from describing in detail the bigotry of the Puritans in Massachusetts shows both skill and a fundamental understanding of the relevant issues. Despite the complex material handled at time, easy to follow and to read. A "must" for any religiously minded household or those who find it difficult to separate religion/church from state.

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  • Posted March 25, 2012

    Highly Recommended - may help you understand to "religious wars" today

    Roger Williams was a man way ahead of his time. John Barry tells a fascinating tale that weaves together English history, and Roger Williams thought by providing a rich context.

    Writing style turns what could be a dry history book into a real "page turner".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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