The Hidden Adam Smith In His Alleged Theology
The paper examines assertions that Adam Smith was in some sense a Christian, and examines how much current opinion ignores his biography and the dangerous religious context of eighteenth-century Scotland. Zealots regularly intervened against suspected heresy, which created an atmosphere of intimidation. Adam Smith’s biography shows that he too was intimidated, and avoided scandals that would upset his very religious mother, for whom he felt a special protective bond, and that he hid his private skepticism to ensure that nothing he published would provoke the zealots. A close reading of his Works shows how he amended them consistently as he grew older to modify their religious content, particularly after his mother died in 1784, and up to just before he died in 1790.
Volume (Year): 33 (2011)
Issue (Month): 03 (September)
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