John Gray

Jesus Will Set You Free

Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism

By

Allen Lane/The Penguin Press 434pp £20 order from our bookshop

‘Was it mere coincidence that liberal secularism developed in the Christian west?’ With this rhetorical question, Larry Siedentop begins one of the most stimulating books of political theory to have appeared in many years. An intellectual historian who spent most of his career teaching in Oxford, Siedentop believes there was no coincidence involved. Secular liberal values are Christianity’s gift to the world, he believes, and he backs up his contention with a refreshingly unorthodox account of the roots of modern liberalism in medieval Christian thinking. Even if you remain unconvinced by some of its central claims – as I do myself – this is a timely and much-needed corrective to the all too familiar Enlightenment fable in which Christian theism and liberal values are necessarily at odds.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,