History of European Ideas 42 (2):256-275 (2016)

Christian Maurer
University of Lausanne
This article discusses Archibald Campbell’s (1691-1756) early writings on religion, and the reactions they provoked from conservative orthodox Presbyterians. Purportedly against the Deist Matthew Tindal, Campbell crucially argued for two claims, namely (i) for the reality of immutable moral laws of nature, and (ii) for the incapacity of natural reason, or the light of nature, to discover the fundamental truths of religion, in particular the existence and perfections of God, and the immortality of the soul. In an episode that had its peak in 1735 and 1736, a Committee for Purity of Doctrine of the Church of Scotland scrutinised Campbell’s writings. It attacked the second claim as contradicting Calvinist doctrines concerning the universal guilt of mankind after the Fall, and the first claim as contradicting doctrines concerning justification and salvation, and as supporting Deism. The study of this episode reveals new aspects of how the struggle to define orthodoxy crystallised in philosophical and theological debates in Scotland at the dawn of the Enlightenment, and before the rise of the Moderates.
Keywords Archibald Campbell  Calvinism  Matthew Tindal  Deism  Revelation
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1080/01916599.2014.1002969
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,078
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Sociability, Luxury and Sympathy: The Case of Archibald Campbell.Paul Sagar - 2013 - History of European Ideas 39 (6):791-814.
No Creation, No Revelation.Paul Clavier - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 73 (3):255-268.
Berkeley's Philosophy of Religion.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2017 - In Richard Brook & Bertil Belfrage (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Berkeley. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 458-483.
Taking Simmel Seriously in Evolutionary Epistemology.Martin Coleman - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):55-74.
A Reformed Natural Theology?Sebastian Rehnman - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (1):151-175.


Added to PP index

Total views
18 ( #605,214 of 2,498,790 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #421,542 of 2,498,790 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes