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by John Bagnell Bury

ePub A History Of Freedom Of Thought download
John Bagnell Bury
Kessinger Publishing, LLC (June 17, 2004)
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by. Bury, J. B. (John Bagnell), 1861-1927. Evidence reported by nicole.

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Bury, J.

John Bagnell Bury (1861-1927) was an accomplished Irish Protestant scholar who taught at Trinity College, Dublin, and . Excellent history of free thought, but is apparently unknown to many.

John Bagnell Bury (1861-1927) was an accomplished Irish Protestant scholar who taught at Trinity College, Dublin, and was regius professor of modern history at Cambridge University from 1902 until his death. A prodigious writer, his scholarly works ranged from volumes on classical Greece and the Roman Empire to a history of the 19th century papacy, and studies of the Byzantine Empire.

John Bagnell Bury (often published as . Bury) was a classical scholar, historian, and philologist

John Bagnell Bury (often published as . Bury) was a classical scholar, historian, and philologist. He held the chair in Modern History at Trinity College, Dublin, for nine years, and also was appointed Regius Professor of Greek at Trinity, and Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University. Books by John Bagnell Bury.

Author: John Bagnell Bury. Release Date: January 11, 2004 J. ARTHUR THOMSON, . William t. brewster, . A history of freedom of thought. Release Date: January 11, 2004. Character set encoding: UTF-8 . Start of this project gutenberg ebook a history of freedom of thought . Produced by Jeffrey Kraus-yao. Home university library of modern knowledge. J.

J B John Bagnell Bury. You can read A History of Freedom of Thought by J B John Bagnell Bury in our library for absolutely free. Read various fiction books with us in our e-reader.

by John Bagnell Bury. Books related to A History Of Freedom Of Thought. Expand/Collapse Synopsis.

Freedom of thought (also called freedom of conscience or ideas) is the freedom of an individual to hold or consider a. .

Freedom of thought (also called freedom of conscience or ideas) is the freedom of an individual to hold or consider a fact, viewpoint, or thought, independent of others' viewpoints. 2 History of development and suppression. 4 References and notes. Release Date: January 11, 2004 We are apt to take for granted that freedom of speech is a natural and inalienable birthright of man, and perhaps to think that this is a sufficient answer to all that can be said on the other side

Author: John Bagnell Bury. We are apt to take for granted that freedom of speech is a natural and inalienable birthright of man, and perhaps to think that this is a sufficient answer to all that can be said on the other side. But it is difficult to see how such a right can be established. If a man has any natural rights, the right to preserve his life and the right to reproduce his kind are certainly such.

This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.
  • Bury is a free-thinker--specifically he opposed the institution of the Church (any Church, it seems, although he eviscerates only those he knows well, which is all of Christianity) and of literal belief in the Bible. He wrote that "the character of the Sacred Book must be held partly accountable for the intolerant principles of the Christian Church". Describing the Greeks he writes "The Greeks fortunately had no Bible, and this fact was both an expression and important condition of their freedom." Bury sees a millennia long struggle of authority vs. reason, with most religious beliefs about nature and man serving social and economic interests for those in authority. They were always very willing to protect their interests, as expressed through religion, by force against those with the inconvenient habit of using reason. While he felt that religion was an institution of social and political control more than anything else, he didn’t feel it necessary to prove his assertion. It was enough to make it and then provide examples from history that ranged from the Greeks to a few years before he was writing.

    The rise and fall of the notion of the idea progress as opposed to the obscurantism of established religion in England, both Roman Catholic and Anglican provides much grist for his mill as do the attitudes and actions of formerly persecuted religions. He is particularly vehement while going after Calvin and Luther and, for reasons that didn’t quite penetrate my brain, the Anabaptists and has thumbnail sketches of the Continental struggle against intolerance and persecution that were expressed politically such as the French revolution and Germany unification.

    Bury’s preferred epoch regarding civil/religious balance seems to be the early Roman Empire, essentially from Augustus Caesar in 27 BC to Constantine at the beginning of the fourth century. While this was a period of invasion, civil war, plague, and economic depression with a year of four emperors followed by a century later with the year of the five emperors, Rome tolerant of any religion that didn’t interfere with the solidarity of the Empire. The general rule of Roman policy was to tolerate all religions and all opinions—blasphemy wasn’t a crime since there was no one single god or system of gods that was set above any other by the state. Tiberius (14 AD to 37 AD) expressed it perfectly with the maxim “If the gods are insulted let them see to it themselves”.

    The one exception was Christianity seen by the Romans as a rapidly growing offshoot of the Jewish religion that was aggressively hostile to all other creeds and whose adherents upset the public order by constant and generally intrusive proselytizing. The dictum “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's” is anathema to Roman rule since it leaves obeying the law up to the individual. For the Romans religion was a matter of social control, useful for cultivating the suspicion of the masses—a compliant religion was necessary for government.

    “A History of the Freedom of Thought” is an artifact of its time—published in 1908. Bury has a very straightforward style that is completely at odds with academic prose of today. There are no buzzword or catch phrases describing whatever is au courant in scholarly research although he does assume the reader, like all educated people of the day, knows Greek and Roman history as well as some literature and philosophy. But even if you don’t know Lucretius from Lincius or Plato from Plautus it is worth reading

  • I found the discussion fascinating. However, sometimes the writing was a little difficult to understand (long, and complicated sentence structures like an academic would write for a scholarly publication) so I found myself rereading those passages.

    The material is well researched and reasoned. It points out,without saying so,the dangers the world faces with radical Islam wanting to return civilization to the dark ages where it comes to freedom of thought versus authoritarianist coercion based on superstitious beliefs. This book provides a strong background to understand the history of free thought.

  • This book should be called “Freedom of Speech Against Religion,” because that is what it is about. People always had the freedom to think whatever they wanted, but they were not always free to say it aloud. However, as the author states, if you happen to be thinking differently from the established norm and are not allowed to communicate it, you will experience anguish. Thus, this book is not so much about freedom of thought but about freedom of speech.

    The narrative begins in ancient Greece. Around roughly 6th century BC Greek learned men (who were scholars, scientists and philosophers all rolled into one) started to examine the world through the use of reason. They quickly concluded that the ancient tales and religion in which they have been raised did not make any sense. As their teachings spread, eventually the Greek and later Roman elites became something of atheists and rationalists, but the masses were still kept in the dark because religion and superstition were seen as a good tool of social control. These freethinkers were never harassed or persecuted in any way, except if they attempted to educate the masses. This is precisely what happened to Socrates.

    The rise of Christianity quickly put an end to freedom of speech. Those who represented views that were displeasing to the Church were persecuted and often burned alive. It was the arrival of the Reformation that allowed the freedom of speech and tolerance to come back, although that was in no way the intention of the Protestants.

    The various protestant creeds were as much, if not more, intolerant than the Catholic Church, and they were just as happy as the Inquisition to hunt and kill freethinkers. However, the religious wars shattered Christian unity and weakened its power. Freethinkers could now use the chaos in Europe to publish controversial works and get away with it.

    There were other contributing factors, of course. Greek learning was rediscovered and scholars became curious about the world again. Observation and experimentation were back in vogue. Science was making a comeback. Another thing that had helped was the invention of the printing press. Scholars could now publish their works in mass quantities and distribute them on large scale.

    The fight for freedom of speech and tolerance was a long and uphill battle. It took many generations. The first freethinkers had to carefully disguise their ideas and use convoluted arguments to reconcile their scientific discoveries with the prevailing religious dogmas. Quite often that did not help them at all and they ended up persecuted anyway. It was not until the 18th century that scholars could openly make fun of religion, and even then they sometimes suffered repercussions.

    Interestingly, the social arrangement from the Greek/Roman times saw a comeback too. As the ruling elites started to get more educated, they get less religious. But the masses were kept in the dark so that they could be better controlled. Whenever a freethinker sought to educate them, the elites would quickly rally to destroy him. It was only in the 19th century that the idea of public education and mass emancipation started to take hold, and that too was an uphill battle.

    Overall I enjoyed this book. It is short and easy to read, but it has weaknesses. The author says that he will focus exclusively on Europe, and he sort of does, but he talks only about Western Europe, and mainly about England. (He is British.) of Eastern Europe, we get a couple of words and nothing more. This is sad, because overall Eastern Europe was more tolerant than Western Europe and it saw much less religious strife. There should have been more said about that. I also found the last two chapters to be boring. The author goes from discussing history and broad social movements (which is interesting) to listing who had published what book and when (which is boring). He does not even give much information about what these books were about and why they were so controversial.

    But my biggest problem is the fact that the book is restricted to talk about freedom of speech against the established religion. This does make sense when discussing history up to 17th century when religion and secular power worked hand in hand. But then secular power and religion started diverging and religion was eventually pushed to the background. Freethinkers started to shift from attacking religion and Church to attacking the ruling governments and monarchs. For example, the author talks about Thomas Paine and his attacks on religion, but of his secular political ideals we get very little. Of Marxism and Anarchism (both popular but persecuted fringe ideologies at the turn of the 20th century) there is not a single word.

    As I have already said, the book is short and easy to read, but narrow and simplistic in its scope. It would make a good introductory material before getting into more “heavy” books. Also, from what I understand, it is something of a classic. I give it four stars.

  • It is well written, and I recommend this book for anyone interested in history of free thinking.