This research project examines Roger Williams’s representation of the relationship between church and state as demonstrated in his controversy with the Massachusetts Bay Puritans, specifically in his pamphlet war with Boston minister John Cotton. Maintaining an emphasis on primary research, the essay explores Williams’s and Cotton’s writings on church-state relations and seeks to provide contextual analysis in light of religious, social, economic, and political influences. In addition, this essay briefly discusses well-known historiographical interpretations of Williams’ position and of his significance to American religious and political thought, seeking to establish a synthesis of the evidence surrounding the debate and a clearer understanding of relevant historiography in order to demonstrate the unarguably Christian motivations for Williams’s advocacy of Separatism.
"Christianity of Conscience: Religion Over Politics in the Williams-Cotton Debate,"
Bound Away: The Liberty Journal of History: Vol. 2:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/ljh/vol2/iss1/4