Reviews on Resources for Biblical and Theological Studies

Valeri. “The Opening of the Protestant Mind” OUP, 2023

Written By: Paulson Pulikottil - Nov• 19•23

Valeri, Mark R. The Opening of the Protestant Mind: How Anglo-American Protestants Embraced Religious Liberty. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press, 2023. Pages: xiii+292. ISBN: 9780197663677

If you are interested in the history of religious pluralism and tolerance, you might want to check out this book: “The Opening of the Protestant Mind.” It traces how Protestants in England and America gradually changed their attitudes and practices toward other Christian denominations and non-Christian religions from the 17th to the 18th century.

The book argues that political, economic, and cultural factors, such as the Restoration of the monarchy, the rise of Whig liberalism, the expansion of overseas trade, and the emergence of evangelicalism drove this change. The author shows how these factors influenced Protestants to rethink their views on conversion, evangelisation, and moral liberty, and to adopt a more tolerant and respectful approach to religious diversity.

The book covers a wide range of topics, such as the debates over religious toleration, the Enlightenment moral philosophy, the missionary activities among Native Americans and Muslims, and the impact of religious pluralism on the formation of the state and secularism. The book also challenges some of the existing interpretations of Protestant history and offers a fresh perspective on the origins and development of religious pluralism in the modern world.

This book is well-written, well-researched, and well-argued. It is not a dry academic tome, but a lively and engaging narrative that will appeal to both scholars and general readers. It is a valuable contribution to the fields of religious history, intellectual history, and political history. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about the history of Protestantism and its interactions with other religions.