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Historians have been uncertain whether to characterise English Deism as a secularising movement or a particular strand of theology. It is argued that, despite the high degree of theological and biblical learning displayed by writers such as Blount and, in particular, Toland, their main purpose was to undermine the religious claim to authority by both church and state.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Columbia History of Western Philosophy
EditorsR. H. Popkin
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherColumbia University Press
ISBN (Print)0231101287
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Deism
  • England
  • Charles Blount
  • John Toland

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