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Primary Source Material in Religion and Politics

The following is an extensive list of primary source documents on issues relating to the interaction of religion and politics, categorized by era from ancient times to the present. For some sources there are two links to different sites containing the material described to the left of the link, so as to ensure access to the information in the event that one link is externally disabled. This site is heavily dependent on the Fordham Collection, however, given its extensive resources in ancient and medieval history. Click on either of the underlined links to access the information.


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Ancient and Classical Sources


  1. Pre-Classical Sources:
  2. Biblical Sources:
  3. Classical Sources: Return to Top

Late Antiquity and the Early Christian Church


  1. Pagan Criticism of Christianity:
  2. The Late Roman Empire and the Early Christian Church (300 - 450 AD) Return to Top

Medieval Period: Islam, Christianity and Judaism


  1. Early Byzantine Imperial Documents on Christianity and Judaism:
    • Corpus Iuris Civilis - Selections in English:
      (Fordham Link)
    • Early Byzantine Forced Conversions of Jews to Christianity
      (Fordham Link)
    • Legislation Affecting the Jews - 300 - 800 CE (Fordham Link)
    • The Sack of Jerusalem and the Jewish Population (612 CE)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Byzantine and Pre-Islamic Arabia
      (Fordham Link)
  2. Early Islamic Sources (To the Second Century after Muhammed):
  3. Medieval Islamic Sources:
    • An Arab Ambassador in Constantinople (990 CE)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Al-Tan-khî: Ruminations and Reminiscences (c. 980 CE)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Yakut: Baghdad under the Abbasids (c. 1000 CE)
      (Fordham Link)
    • The Book of Golden Meadows (c. 940 CE)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Ibn-Miskawaih: The Experiences of the Nations (c. 980 CE)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Gaston Wiet, Baghdad: Metropolis of the Abbasids (SS)
      (Fordham Link)
    • J. Schact: "Law and Justice" in Cambridge Encyc. (SS)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Islamic Political Philosophy in the Mediaeval Period
      (Fordham Link)
    • Islam and Philosophy in the Works of Averr"es (12th c. CE)
      (Fordham Link)
  4. Judaism and the Medieval World:
  5. Early Latin Christendom (450 - 1000 AD):
  6. High Middle Ages (1000 - 1300 AD)
    a) Investiture Controversy (1059 - 1122): b) Crusades (Sources Dating from 847 - 1291):< c) The Holy Roman Empire and the Papacy: d) The Rise of National Monarchies and the Church: e) The Decline of the Papacy in the Late Medieval Period
    • John of Salisbury - Policraticus
      (Fordham Link)
    • John of Paris - On Royal and Papal Power
      (Fordham Link)
    • Clericis Laicos (1296)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam (1302)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Babylonian Captivity and the Great Schism in the 14th c.(SS)
      (Boise Link)
    • Marsiligio of Padua: Conclusions from Defensor Pacis (1324)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Marsiligio of Padua: Condemnation by John XII (1327)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Petrarch - Letter Criticizing the Avignon Papacy (c. 1345)
      (Fordham Link)
    • John Wyclif: On the Sacrament of Communion
      (Fordham Link)
    • The Peasants Revolt of 1381
      (Fordham Link)
    • The Golden Bull of Charles IV (1356)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Jan Hus - Final Declaration (1415)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Joan of Arc: Letter to the King of England (1429)
      (Fordham Link)
    Return to Top

Medieval Philosophy


  1. Late Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period
  2. The Emergence of the Scholastic Approach
  3. The Height of Scholasticism and the Integration of Aristotle
    • St. Thomas Aquinas - Summa Theologica (Full Text)
      (CCEL Link)
    • St. Thomas Aquinas - Treatise on Law (I-II: § 90-108)
      (CCEL Link)
    • St. Thomas Aquinas - Summa Contra Gentiles
      (ND Link)
    • St. Thomas Aquinas - A Companion to the Summa (CCEL Link)
  4. Nominalism and Late Medieval Challenges to Scholasticism>
  5. Post-Biblical and Medieval Jewish Philosophy
  6. Medieval Islamic Philosophy (Some Files are in PDF format):
    • Al-Kindi - "The First Islamic Philosopher" (c. 800-870 CE)
      (MP Link)
    • Al-Kindi - The Definitions of Things and Descriptions (860 CE)
      (UMCC Link)
    • Al-Farabi - "The Father of Islamic Logic"
      (c. 870-950 CE)
      (MP Link)
    • Al-Farabi - "The Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle" (c. 900 CE)
      (MP Link)
    • Ibn Sina (Avicenna)
      (980-1037) - Collection of Works
      (MP Link)
    • Ibn Sina (Avicenna) - On Casual Priority
      (MP Link)
    • Ibn Sina (Avicenna) - On the Nature of God
      (MP Link)
    • Ibn Sina (Avicenna) - On the Relative in the Metaphysics of Shifa
      (MP Link)
    • Ibn Sina (Avicenna) - On the Human Soul
      (MP Link)
    • Ibn Hazm - Biography (c. 990-1060 CE in Spain)
      (MP Link)
    • Al-Ghazali (Religious Reaction to Philosophy in Islam) (Biography)
      (MP Link)
    • Averroës and Aquinas react to Al-Ghazali's Islamic Occasionalism
      (MP Link)
    • Al-Ghazali - Collection of Works on the Reaction to Philosophy
      (MP Link)
    • Al-Shastarani - Biography of a Persian Theologian (1087-1153)
      (MP Link)
    • Ibn Rushd (Averroës) (1126-1198) - Collection of Works
      (MP Link)
    • Ibn Rushd (Averroës) - Metaphysics
      (MP Link)
    • Ibn Rushd (Averroës) - Commentaries on Aristotle
      (MP Link)
    • Ibn Rushd (Averroës) - Religion and Philosophy (1190)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Fakhraddin al-Razi - Book on Ethics (late 12th c.)
      (MP Link)
    • Ibn Khaldun - "The Father of the Scientific Study of Sociology"
      (MP Link)
    • Ibn Khaldun - Life and Works (English Translation - PDF)
      (MP Link)
    • Complete List of Sources on Muslim Philosohpy @ Islamic Philosophy Online

Renaissance and Reformation


  1. The Mediterreanean Renaissance
  2. The Northern Renaissance - Christian Humanism
  3. The Protestant Reformation and its Dissemination:
    1. Zwilngian and Lutheran Reformations
    2. Calvinism and the Genevan Reformation
    3. Calvinism and the First Scottish Reformation
      • The Scottish Confession of Faith (1550)
        (SWRB Link)
      • Call to the Ministry and First Public Debate (1547)
        (SWRB Link)
      • A Vindication of the Doctrine that the Mass is Idolatry (1550)
        (SWRB Link)
      • Letter Addressed to the Commonalty of Scotland (1558)
        (SWRB Link)
      • An Epistle to the Inhabitants of Newcastle and Berwick (1558)
        (SWRB Link)
      • The Appellation from the Sentence of the Bishops (1558)
        (SWRB Link)
      • Letter to the Queen Dowager, Regent of Scotland (1558)
        (SWRB Link)
      • Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (1558)
        (SWRB Link)
      • The Tyranny of Mary Suppressed and Banished >(1559)
        (SWRB Link)
    4. Radical and Anabaptist Reformations
    5. The English Reformation
  4. The Catholic Reformation (also known as the Counter-Reformation):
    • The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola (1540)
      (CCEL Link)
    • The Life of St. Ignatius of Loyola (SS)
      (New Advent Link)
    • The Canon and Decrees of the Council of Trent (1545-63)
      (Hanover Link)
    • Paul IV - Papal Bull - Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio (1559)
      (Refuge Link)
    • The Tridentine Creed (1564)
      (New Advent Link)
    • Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis of Sales
      (1567)
      (CCEL Link)
    • Pope Pius V: Bull Regnans in Excelsis (1570)
      (UCI Link)
    • St. John of the Cross
      (CCEL Link)
    • St. Theresa of Avila - The Way of Perfection (c.1565)
      (CCEL Link)
    • Rules on Prohibited Books
      (Fordham Link)

Early Modern Europe - Science and Religion


  1. The Reformation, Counter-Reformation and Cosmology:
  2. Galileo and His Reception by the Catholic Church:
    • Letter to the Grand Duchess of Tuscany >(1615)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Cardinal Bellarmine on Galileo's Theories (1615)
      (Fordham Link)
    • The Crime of Galileo - Indictment (1633)
      (Fordham Link)
  3. The Church and Scientific Advancement:
  4. Theism, Science and Religion:
  5. Skepticism, Science and Religion:

Early Modern Europe - Political and Religious


  1. Continental Europe - The Wars of Religion and their Aftermath
  2. Continental Europe and the Enlightenment
  3. Britain - Political and Religious
  4. Philosophical Reflections on Liberty and Governance in Britain to 1700
  5. Britain and the Enlightenment
    • George Berkeley: Concerning Human Knowledge (1710)
      (Oregon Link)
    • Francis Hutcheson - Remarks on the Fable of Bees (1725)
      (McMaster Link)
    • George Berkeley: Defence of Free Thinking (1735)
      (Dublin Link)
    • The Earl of Shaftesbury - Biography (SS)
      (Stanford Link)
    • Henry Bolingbroke - Life and Writings (SS)
      (UTM Link)
    • Henry Bolingbroke - Selected Writings (1733-36)
      (McMaster Link)
    • Francis Hutcheson - Biography (SS)
      (Thommes Link)
    • David Hume: Selected Essays (1754)
      (Constitution Link)
    • Blackstone's Commentary on the Laws of England (1758)
      (Yale Link)
    • Adam Smith: Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759)
      (McMaster Link)
    • Thomas Reid - Biography (SS)
      (Stanford Link)
    • Adam Ferguson - On the History of Civil Society (1767)
      (McMaster Link)
    • Adam Smith - On the Wealth of Nations (1776)
      (McMaster Link)
    • Thomas Reid: Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man (1785)
      (Idaho Link)
    • Edmund Burke: Selected Writings (1770-1794)
      (Liberty Fund)
    • Edmund Burke: Reflections on the Revolution (1790)
      (Constitution Link)

The Age of Revolution in Europe


  1. The Moderate Revolution in France
    • Third Estate of Versailles - Cahiers de Doléances (1789)
      (Hanover Link)
    • Abbé Sieyès - What is the Third Estate (Excerpt) (1789)
      (Mifflin Link)
    • Abbé Sieyès - Qu'est-ce que le Tiers état? (Full Text
      (Gallica Link)
    • Assemblé Nationale: Tennis Court Oath (20 June 1789)
      (FSC Link)
    • Declaration of the Rights of Man (26 August 1789)
      (Yale Link)
    • Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen
      (Bibliothèque Link)
    • Civil Constitution of the Clergy (12 July 1790)
      (Hanover Link)
    • Declaration of the Rights of Women (1791)
      (Fordham Link)
  2. Civil Religion and the Radical Revolution in France
    • Rousseau - Civil Religion in the Social Contract (1762)
      (Constitution Link)
    • Saint-Just - The Republican Institutes (1793)
      (Hanover Link)
    • Robespierre - Cult of the Supreme Being (1793)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Robespierre - On the Principles of Political Morality (1794)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Robespierre - Terror and Virtue (1794)
      (Fordham Link)
  3. Napoleonic Europe - Church and State:
  4. Reaction to the Revolution in Britain and America:
    • Edmund Burke: Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)
      (Constitution)
    • Edmund Burke: Thoughts on French Affairs (1791)
      (Smartboard Link)
    • Thomas Paine: The Rights of Man (1792)
      (Gronigen Link)
    • Thomas Paine: Life and Works 1790-1806)
      (Paine Link)
    • Edmund Burke: The Death of Marie Antoinette (1793)
      (Fordham Link)
    • Edmund Burke: Letters on a Regicide Peace (1795)
      (Liberty Fund Link)
    • Mary Wollstonecraft: Vindication of the Rights of Women
      (UMd Link)

Nineteenth Century European Philosophy


  1. Continental Thought from the French Revolution to 1848:
    • Immanuel Kant
      (1724-1804)
    • Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814)
    • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)
    • Comte, Auguste (1798-1857)
      • Plan scientifiques pour réorganiser la société 1822)
        (en français)
      • The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte (1830-42)
        (Bristol Link)
      • A General View of Positivism (1848)
        (Lycos Link)
      • Instituant la Religion de l'humanité (1851)
        (en français)
    • Feuerbach, Ludwig Andreas (1802-1874)
    • Kierkegaard, Søren (1813-1855)
  2. British Thought in the Regency Era:
    • Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
    • Thomas Malthus (1756-1834)
    • Mary Robinson (1758-1800)
      • Letter to the Women of England (1799)
        (UMd Link)
    • William Wilberforce (1759-1833)
      • Speech for the Abolition of Slavery (1789)
        (BCC Link)
      • Debate on the Motion for the Abolition of the Slave Trade
        (CH Link)
      • British Abolitionists - Biographies
        (Carey Link)
    • Robert Owen (1771-1858)
    • >
    • David Ricardo (1772-1823)
  3. Continental Thought Since 1848:
  4. British Thought in the Victorian Era: