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The Christian Religion, as Professed by a Daughter of the Church of England (1705) is the most mature and comprehensive statement of Mary Astell's religious and philosophical views. It also represents the culmination of Astell's feminist project to teach her fellow women how to lead useful lives of virtue and wisdom. The main purpose of this work is to instruct women about the ultimate nature of reality, the true source of happiness, their duties and obligations to God, and about "how best to live" and how to treat other people. This volume offers the first complete modern version of the 1717 second edition. It provides a fully modernized text, a scholarly introduction, biographical and bibliographical information, general historical-intellectual background, and definitions of obscure and archaic terms.
"This first modern edition of Astell's The Christian Religion makes available an important but previously neglected text. Broad's thorough and well-researched footnotes and her lucid introduction do an excellent job of situating Astell's views in the philosophical landscape. This text will be essential reading for anyone interested in Astell and other women writers of the early modern period and a very valuable resource for readers interested in early modern philosophy more generally.
- Deborah Boyle, Associate Professor of Philosophy, College of Charleston
Jacqueline Broad is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the Philosophy Program of the School of Philosophical, Historical, and International Studies at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Her main area of research is early modern women's philosophy. She is the author of Women Philosophers of the Seventeenth-Century (2002) and co-author (with Karen Green) of A History of Women's Political Thought in Europe, 1400-1700 (2009).
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