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Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics

Volume 27, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2007

John Perry
Pages 227-252

John Locke's America
The Character of Liberal Democracy and Jeffrey Stout's Debate with the Christian Traditionalists

RECENT STUDIES OF CHRISTIANITY'S RELATION TO LIBERAL POLITICS HAVE recognized the importance of specifying clearly what type of liberalism is being considered. Jeffrey Stout's critique is one such example. Unfortunately, Stout fails to engage the one thinker who arguably is the most influential in how Americans relate Christianity and politics: John Locke. Political arguments of today's Christians are premised, often unconsciously, on rival interpretations of Locke's political theology.