Prophets, Priests, and Kings of Liberty: John Milton and the Reformation of Rights and Liberties in England
70 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2011 Last revised: 2 Sep 2019
Date Written: 2008
The seventeenth-century English Revolution was pulsing with new democratic ideas of civil rights, marital freedom, freedom of speech and press, religious liberty, separation of church-state, and disestablishment of religion. The English philosopher and poet, John Milton was among the most radical and articulate advocate of these ideas, which he set out in hundreds of pages of brilliant and trenchant prose. This Article offers a full account of Milton’s reformist agenda and uncovers some of the genesis and genius of his ideas in earlier Christian and classical traditions. It also documents the enduring significance of Milton’s ideas for later Anglo-American writers like John Locke, and later common law and constitutional reforms on both sides of the Atlantic.
Keywords: John Milton; Family Law; Marriage; Divorce; Religious Liberty; Liberty of Conscience; Free Exercise of Religion; Equality; Separation of Church and State; Disestablishment of Religion; Freedom of Speech; Freedom of Press; Censorship; Licensing; Civil Rights; Voting Rights;Anglicanism;Presbyterianism
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