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A History of Freedom of Thought Paperback – May 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: International Debate Education Association; 2 edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932716327
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932716320
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,586,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Bagnell Bury (1861-1927) was an accomplished Irish Protestant scholar who taught at Trinity College, Dublin, and was regius professor of modern history at Cambridge University from 1902 until his death. A prodigious writer, his scholarly works ranged from volumes on classical Greece and the Roman Empire to a history of the 19th century papacy, and studies of the Byzantine Empire.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Phil on October 11, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author states that the subject of the book is the continuous struggle between authority and reason. 95% of the time, the word "authority" means religion. He does a wonderful job of telling how Christianity impedes free thought, and how Christians eradicated heretics and other religions from their domain. He spends a lot of time on Christianity, and the inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the bible. He goes into detail about free thinkers throughout history, and how they were treated by whichever organized religion controlled the society they lived in. He obviously prefers reason and proof to dogma and blind faith, but he always treats religion fairly, though occasionally something wonderfully cynical slips out.

The book starts with ancient Greece and Socrates, then Rome and the rise of Christianity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and reformation, the growth of rationalism in the 17th and 18th centuries, and then the 19th century and what the author calls "the war of science and theology." He gives the names of many books and essays written by free thinkers of the past if you want more to read on the subject.

The author is an extremely good writer and he's excellent at making things understandable. I rarely had to re-read something to make sure I had it. The book has some formatting problems, more than usual for these free Amazon-produced Kindle books. There's a bibliography and an index at the end.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James Jenkins on October 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great book about how differing versions of religion (mostly christian), have impeded the beliefs (and lives) of others. No matter what belief system you hold. You are likely to find an example of it being trampled on historically. This work does a wonderful job of not attacking the attackers, simply lays out the facts as they are.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brian McLoughlin on September 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The writer has done his research with the greatest thoroughness and presents the result in a readable form. The history leads to an insight which could not be obtained in any other way.
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