Religion: The Grounds of Assent

  • John Hoyles
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas/ Archives internationales d’histoire des ideés book series (ARCH, volume 39)


Norris, like the Cambridge Platonists, was a latitudinarian. In his “Discourse concerning Heroic Piety” (1684), he writes of “those excellent degrees and eminences of religion we may fall short of without sin.” 1 But Norris’s religious thought is not merely transitional between the Cambridge Platonists and the Enlightenment. Although he prefigures certain elements of Enlightenment Christianity which allow scope for opposition to deism, he also consolidates several characteristics of 17th century religious experience, and transmits them to the age of 18th century religious revival.


Moral Evil Christian Religion Religious Thought Spiritual Counsel Natural Religion 
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  1. 10.
    John Tillotson, Works, ed. Thomas Birch (10 vols.; London: Richard Priestley, 1820), VIII, 327. Quoted in Louis G. Locke, Tillotson: A Study in 17th Century Literature (“Anglistica,” No. 4; Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1954 ), p. 105.Google Scholar
  2. 11.
    Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, ed. John M. Robertson (2 vols.; Indianapolis and New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1964), I, 7.Google Scholar

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© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1971

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  • John Hoyles

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