Against the contemporary view which portrays the roots of modern political philosophy as fundamentally areligious, Peddle's essay shows how Puritanism and Enlightenment converge in the U.S. Constitution. In light of reflections on the logic of this convergence, an interpretation of the religious clauses of the first amendment is advanced.
This essay is a commentary on Part One of Thus Spake Zarathustra. It argues that the concept of the overman which develops in Part One must be understood in relation to the parodistic and tragic elements of the text. In particular, the claim is advanced that Zarathustra's notion of the overman derives from a tragic awareness unavailable to nineteenth century humanism.
Michael Sandel sees Rawls' liberal theory of justice as abstractly uncomprehensive of another, republican view of the essential relation of political life to moral culture. But, as reference to the debates of the Civil War and the New Deal show, his own jeremiadic account of American history equally misrepresents the dialectical interplay of liberal and republican moments that is essential in American freedom.
Peddle's essay investigates Calvin's theological conceptions and finds in them pre-modern intimations of freedom and equality the foundational concepts of modernity. Through this investigation he wishes to indicate how the conception of religion present in political liberalism distorts the religious roots of liberalism.