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Liberty: God's Gift to Humanity

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0739114421
ISBN-10: 0739114425
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Editorial Reviews


Proponents of liberalism will welcome a book that argues effectively for the liberal framework that emerged in early modern history and has developed and sustains the democratic frameworks of a number of polities. . . . This book impressively brings together the merits of political liberty, religious liberty, and economic liberty, which few books even attempt because of the complex relationship among them. But this book does it and does it well. . . . The author understands the connections among these three dimensions of the human social enterprise and expresses them in a proactive and engaging way. (Derek H. Davis, Baylor University)

...this book is an important text and I would recommend it to anyone looking for more insights into the way we have come to understand 'liberty'. (Political Studies Review)

This is an outstanding work, full of subtle wit and insight. Cox has written a historically rich defense of America's liberal heritage, which she regards as rooted in its Puritan past. This is a much needed corrective at a time when the Christian Right is leading an assault on liberalism as if it were an alien or secular tradition that undermines Christianity. In Cox's view, all the enemies of liberalism, past and present, are in quest of a chimerical unity that is incompatible with either peace or prosperity. The book is a wonderful pedagogical tool because it is simultaneously informative and intellectually provocative. (Shadia Drury, University of Regina)

About the Author

Chana B. Cox is a Senior Lecturer in the Humanities at Lewis and Clark College.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Lexington Books (January 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739114425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739114421
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,897,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chana Cox received her B.A. in Mathematics from Reed College, and her Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University. She is a scholar of Leibniz and of 17th century philosophy of science. She taught at Lewis and Clark College for over twenty years and is now a Lewis and Clark Senior Lecturer Emerita. At Lewis and Clark, Dr. Cox taught courses in the departments of Philosophy, History, Political Science, Business, and the freshman core.

Chana is the author of several books and other writings including a book on the history of classical liberalism, LIBERTY: GOD'S GIFT TO HUMANITY; a critique of Plato's Republic, REFLECTIONS ON THE LOGIC OF THE GOOD; a play staged by Augustana Lutheran Church and Lewis and Clark College as an interfaith production entitled, PHARAOH, KING OF EGYPT; and A RIVER WENT OUT OF EDEN, a book telling of her family's experiences living in the Salmon River Idaho wilderness with Sylvan Hart, a.k.a. "Buckskin Bill, 'Last of the Mountain Men.'" Chana has now published, via kindle, INUNGILAK, a fictional CIA thriller inspired by her work experience in the Eastern Canadian Arctic.

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Format: Paperback
If you're confused by the partisan wrangling between conservatives and liberals in the U.S.; if you wonder why you don't agree with either party but you know in your heart you're a patriot; or if you believe neither party is in touch with the essential ideas that have made America great, then you'll probably get a lot out of this book. In "Liberty", Chana Cox explains how the American experiment is based on a set of ideas about individual liberty that appeared as separatist religious concepts in the 1600s during the English Civil War and were then written down and explained by John Locke. She shows that while the idea of Liberty struggled in England in the face of a resurgent monarchy, it took root among early English settlers in America and strongly influenced the politics behind the Declaration of Independence and the Federalist Papers. She illustrates the same thread of thinking woven throughout Adam Smith's work on free markets in the 1700s, and makes it clear (for the first time, for me) how three forms of liberty (economic, religious, and political) are facets of the same basic principles.

Cox then goes on to provide a revealing analysis of how the concept of Liberty developed and was distorted throughout the 1800s and 1900s, both in Europe and the United States, until we ended up with modern welfare-state liberalism and its totalitarian cousins of national socialism and communism.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a powerful defense of Religious Liberalism as a political/social system. Many parts of the book, from the discussion of the strong historical ties between Liberal ideas and fundamentalist Christian ideas, are fascinating. Libertyoffers an unusual perspective for understanding how fundamentalist religion of any sort can undergo a liberal change - and grow stronger as a result. It also unveils why even fair and free elections aren't necessarily legitimate from a Liberal perspective. It sure makes what's happening with Hamas and Iran and Egypt and Venezuela a whole lot clearer. Written by an Orthodox Jew, the book has an unusual and insightful perspective on these issues.

The ideas in this book are fundamental and fundamentally important. For all the guns involved, we are basically in a war of ideas with certain fanatics within the Whahabi and Shiite sects. Their main weapons are ideas. To defeat them, we need knowledge - we need to know what our way is, we need to know why our way is better and we need to be able to share that information with those around us.

This book packs a powerful punch in that department and is a *very important* read.
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