Christianity and Religious Freedom: A Sourcebook of Scriptural, Theological, and Legal Texts
“Religious freedom, as currently understood, is the condition in which individuals or groups are permitted without restriction to assent to and, within limits, to express and act upon religious conviction and identity in civil and political life, free of coercive interference or penalties imposed by outsiders, including the state. Over the centuries, the attitudes and behaviors of Christians aimed at promoting this understanding have been, in a word, deeply ambivalent. This pervasive ambivalence over the desirability of religious freedom is amply, if variously, evident in the sources included in this sourcebook. These sources, whether ancient, medieval, early modern, or modern, should help correct two conflicting and equally inaccurate convictions. One is the strong skepticism that Christianity contributed anything constructive to the rise of religious freedom. The other is the assumption that Christian beliefs and communities invariably favor religious freedom.”
For more information, read Christianity and Religious Freedom: A Sourcebook of Scriptural, Theological, and Legal Texts.