At a time when religious conservatives claim a mandate and the best-selling Left Behind novels gleefully contemplate the destruction of all but a small remnant of humanity, the works of the Cambridge Platonists speak with particular resonance. These 17th-century rational theologians also lived in a remarkably fractious age.
Toward the end of Zadie Smith’s shrewd and entertaining novel, Kiki Simmonds gets into an argument with her husband, Howard Belsey: “All you ever do is rip into everybody else,” she tells him. “You don’t have any beliefs—that’s why you’re scared of people with beliefs.”
Eugene Boring and Fred Craddock have endeavored to remake Barton Warren Johnson’s The People’s New Testament with Notes, a classic of the Disciples of Christ movement, for today’s church. The Disciples movement began with a protest initiated by Thomas Campbell in the early 19th century.