“Christian deism in eighteenth century England”

This article, “Christian deism in eighteenth century England,” was published in 2014 in International Journal of Philosophy and Theology.   Click here to read a pdf of the article.

Here is the first paragraph of the article:

In eighteenth-century England, there were thinkers who said they were Christian deists and who claimed pure, original Christianity was deism.  For example, the writer Thomas Amory (1691?-1788?) asserted that he believed in ‘original Christianity,’ which was ‘that pure Christian deism, which the Lord of life and glory preached to the world. . . .’  Scholars have noticed that some English deists claimed to be restoring original Christianity, and some scholars call these deists Christian deists. The vast majority of scholars, however, do not believe Christian deism was a viable theological option in the eighteenth century.  One scholar, Peter Byrne, said the phrase Christian deism was an ‘apparent oxymoron,’ saying a thinker only labeled himself a Christian deist as ‘a tactical move to deter accusations of heresy.’  This article argues that there were thinkers in eighteenth-century England who sincerely believed they were both Christians and deists.  Christian deism was not an organized movement, and it did not have a leader, but it was an important theological movement. 

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