Reason’s Handmaiden
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How to Cite

Reason’s Handmaiden: John Locke’s Scriptural Interpretation in his Essay and Two Treatises. (2019). The Political Science Reviewer, 42(2), 327-356.


In Book IV of his Essay, John Locke offers his readers a method of scriptural interpretation. Using our reason, we are to judge pieces of Scripture as above, according to, or contrary to reason. This is not merely the imposition of arbitrary categories, but rather a process of reasoning. Using this method, I analyze four pieces of Scripture in the First Treatise. This analysis reveals that Scripture can be made reasonable and compatible with modern liberalism. Rather than discarding religion, Locke demonstrates how a liberal can engage with, and perhaps persuade, the illiberal believer. 

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