Finding Locke's God

The Theological Basis of John Locke’s Political Thought

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Nathan Guy
  • London: 
    Bloomsbury Academic
    , September
     256 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


The portrait of John Locke as a secular advocate of Enlightenment rationality has been deconstructed by the recent 'religious turn' in Locke scholarship. This book takes an important next step: moving beyond the 'religious turn' and establishing a 'theological turn', Nathan Guy argues that John Locke ought to be viewed as a Christian political philosopher whose political theory was firmly rooted in the moderating Latitudinarian theology of the seventeenth-century.

Nestled between the secular political philosopher and the Christian public theologian stands Locke, the Christian political philosopher, whose arguments not only self-consciously depend upon Christian assumptions, but also offer a decidedly Christian theory of government. Finding Locke's God identifies three theological pillars crucial to Locke's political theory: (1) a biblical depiction of God, (2) the law of nature rooted in a doctrine of creation and (3) acceptance of divine revelation in scripture. As a result, Locke's political philosophy brings forth theologically-rich aims, while seeking to counter or disarm threats such as atheism, hyper-Calvinism, and religious enthusiasm.

Bringing these items together, Nathan Guy demonstrates how each pillar supports Locke's Latitudinarian political philosophy and provides a better understanding of how he grounds his notions of freedom, equality and religious toleration. Convincingly argued and meticulously researched, this book offers an exciting new direction for Locke studies.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Nathan Guy is associate professor of philosophy, theology, and ethics at Harding University, Searcy, USA.


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