He [Tindal] has been a most notorious ill Liver (registered as tis said, or deserving to be soe, at All Souls under ye Title of Egregious Fornicator) -- Thomas Hearne, Remarks and Collections (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1885) Matthew Tindal was the outstanding freethinker of his time, famous for writing what became known as the Deists Bible. While not as profound as his near contemporaries John Locke and David Hume, Tindal played an important part in the creation of the modern world. Between the early 1690s and his death in 1733 Tindal made major contributions in a various areas. As Deputy Judge Advocate of the Fleet he had a large influence on the case law on piracy. His timely pamphlet on the freedom of the press was hugely influential in the ending of the legal requirement that all publications be licensed before being printed. His book on The Rights of the Christian Church had an immense impact on church/state relations and on the growth of freethinking. Tindals Christianity as old as the Creation in 1730 was the ultimate statement of the deist understanding of Christianity and was highly influential in England and on the Continent.
Through Voltaire it profoundly affected the French freethinkers and following its translation into German it laid the foundations of hermeneutics. Stephen Lalors book will be of considerable interest to readers across many disciplines.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Chapter 1: Life and Character; Chapter 2: Freedom of the Press. Chapter 3: Piracy; Chapter 4: The Church; Chapter 5: Politics; Chapter 6: The Deists' Bible; Chapter 7: The Verdicts of Time; Chapter 8: A Note on Hermeneutics; Index.
Dr Stephen Lalor is a civil servant in the Dept of the Taoiseach, Dublin. He is the author of The Annonated Constitution of Ireland (1995), and seven shorter works on various topics.