American Political Thought – Jefferson, Locke – Church and State

The essay should be an interpretive essay by which I mean that you should not be researching secondary opinions and giving the opinions of scholars, but should be explaining the primary text with evidence from the primary text.
I know this is an advanced class, but I never tire of saying that you need to have a thesis. You should not just summarize the text but you should be making an argument about what the text is arguing. Your thesis should not be obvious and trivial. It should be of some significance and part of your thesis should be an argument for why it is significant.

Write a 4-page paper on one of the following topics. This isconsidered an interpretive paper that should rely on the primary texts and noton secondary sources.

Explain the meaning of faith in the Letter Concerning Toleration.


In the Letter, Locke authorizes the use of punishment only for the civil magistrate. Does this authorization of force enforce certain beliefs?


What is Lockes understanding of the relation between the spiritual and temporal as discussed in the Letter?


Explain Lockes reeducation of the clergy.


What is the significance of Lockes distinction between ceremonial laws and faith?


Explain the importance of choice for both Jeffersons teaching about the church and the state.


Explain Jeffersons understanding of the meaning and foundations of the state. 


How is freedom of speech part of Jeffersons separation of church from state?


Explain what God is for both Locke and Jefferson.