Covenant Liberty in Puritan New England
John Witte Jr.
Emory University School of Law
“Covenant Liberty in Puritan New England,” in Frederick S. Carney, Heinz Schilling, and Dieter Wyduckel, eds., Jurisprudenz, Politische Theorie und Politische Theologie (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2004), 169-189
Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 04-3
This Article argues that New England Puritan covenant theology was a fertile seedbed for a number of American constitutional ideas of ordered liberty and orderly pluralism. Puritan constructions of the "liberty of covenant" inspired later theories of liberty of conscience and free exercise of religion. Puritan constructions of social, political, and ecclesiastical "covenants of liberty" provided a foundation for later understanding of republican nationalism, separation and cooperation of church and state, and sundry checks and balances on authorities within both church and state.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Date posted: May 4, 2004 ; Last revised: July 16, 2014