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Beyond Minimalism

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Didactic Secularisation in De Veritate

image of Grotiana

This paper offers an interpretation of De veritate that resolves its ostensible self-contradictions and uncovers its coherence when it is read as a text designed primarily with an irenic purpose, a didactic method, and having a secularising effect regardless of the author’s intention.The article has seven sections: (1) Introduction; (2) Proofs of Religious Truth (Standards of good religion: ethics, rewards, and the violence of conquest; Testimony and consensus; Miracles; Oracles and prophecies; Simplicity); (3) Religious Practice (Ceremonies and rites; Sacrifices; Adiaphora); (4) Distinctive Christian Truths (The Trinity; Jesus Christ; Son of God, Son of Man; Death, Resurrection, and Ascension; Free will; Immortality; Doctrinal omissions); (5) Proofs from Providential History (The Bible’s textual integrity; The spread of Christianity; The early Church and the Bible), (6) Aspects of Reception; and (7) Conclusion: Christianity according to De veritate (Summary of findings; Thesis 1: Secularising legalism; Thesis 2: Didactic secularisation).

Affiliations: 1: Research Fellow, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Affiliate Scholar, The Tobin Project; Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Sussex Law School


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