WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (ABP) -- Amid academic pageantry, Baptist historian Bill Leonard was officially installed Jan. 24 as the first Dunn Professor of Baptist Studies at Wake Forest University School of Divinity.
The ceremony featured an address by noted Harvard University scholar Harvey Cox, who spoke on “The Baptist Motif.” Cox is Hollis Research Professor of Divinity at Harvard, an academic position which is the first and oldest endowed chair in the nation, established by a British Baptist almost 300 years ago.
In his remarks, Cox chose to wed the “soul liberty” of Roger Williams and the “beloved community” of Martin Luther King Jr. into what he referred to as the Baptist motif. He affirmed that from the beginning the Baptist mindset firmly held that religious liberties should be extended to all persons. “Jews, Protestants, Papists and Turks” were specifically named by Williams, said Cox, as being guaranteed religious liberty.
Williams did not regard Baptists as Protestants, Cox reminded his hearers. Remembering such incidents as the failed gun powder plot in which Catholic Guy Fawkes and others of like mind planned to assassinate King James I in 1605, “Papists [Catholics] were the international terrorists of the day,” Cox noted. “Today we no longer think Catholics are terrorists, but some think the Turks, Muslims, are.”
What Williams granted “went far beyond mere toleration. It was true religious liberty,” Cox said. “Williams didn’t agree with Papists, but he welcomed them.”
I didn't know Roger Williams did not consider Baptists as Protestants.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.