New PDF release: Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism

By Susan Jacoby

ISBN-10: 0805077766

ISBN-13: 9780805077766

"Jacoby accomplishes her activity with readability, thoroughness, and an interesting passion."
-Los Angeles instances publication Review

An authoritative heritage of the very important function of secularist thinkers and activists within the usa, from a author of "fierce intelligence and nimble, unfettered imagination" (The long island Times)

At a time whilst the separation of church and country is below assault as by no means earlier than, Freethinkers bargains a robust protection of the secularist background that gave americans the 1st executive on this planet based now not at the authority of faith yet at the bedrock of human reason.

In impassioned, dependent prose, celebrated writer Susan Jacoby paints a notable portrait of greater than 200 years of secularist activism, starting with the fierce debate over the omission of God from the structure. relocating from nineteenth-century abolitionism and suffragism throughout the 20th century's civil liberties, civil rights, and feminist pursuits, Freethinkers illuminates the ignored accomplishments of secularists who, allied with liberal and tolerant non secular believers, have stood on the vanguard of the conflict for reforms antagonistic via reactionary forces long ago and today.

Rich with such iconic figures as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Clarence Darrow—as good as once-famous secularists reminiscent of Robert eco-friendly Ingersoll, "the nice Agnostic"—Freethinkers restores to background generations of devoted humanists. it truly is they, Jacoby indicates, who've led the fight to uphold the mix of secular executive and non secular liberty that's the glory of the yank system.

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Additional resources for Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism

Sample text

The text does not go so far as to describe multiple gods—male and female— creating both sexes of humans. 10 This idea is an ancient one. 11 But why bring up the idea of the divine council here? Could it be that this divine council in Israel, like the divine councils in neighboring cultures, could include both male and female divine beings? 12 It is hard to know for sure. What is clear is that this text goes far in describing the one God's creation of both male and female sexual beings in the divine image(s).

If we read the text itself, the forbidden fruit is not sex, but wisdom. As the story says, this was the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17; cf. 3:6). "Knowledge of good and evil" is a phrase often used to describe wisdom (1 Kings 3:9, 11—12), indeed a godlike wisdom possessed by only a few (2 Sam. 14:17, 20). Proverbs calls wisdom "a tree of life to all who take hold of her" (Prov. 5 The snake, described as extremely 45 46 THE EDEN GARDEN AND THE LAW "clever" here (Gen. 3:1), was likewise a symbol of wisdom in the Near East.

It is a representation of Hadadyisi, king of Sikan, an ancient city in the upper reaches of Mesopotamia 19 2O THE E D E N G A R D E N AND THE LAW (ancient Iraq). Hadadyisi probably had this statue constructed to stand in the sanctuary before his god, Hadad, when Hadadyisi could not be around. " Later he had the statue improved, and he added to the inscription: "The image of Hadadyisi. . this likeness he made better than before. . " Throughout, King Hadadyisi uses Aramaic words for image and likeness that occur in Hebrew form in Genesis I.

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Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan Jacoby

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