Age of Reason (version 2) cover

Age of Reason (version 2)

Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

1. Part First, Section 1
2. Part First, Section 2
3. Part First, Section 3
4. Part First, Section 4
5. Part First, Section 5
6. Part First, Section 6
7. Part First, Section 7
8. Part First, Section 8
9. Part First, Section 9
10. Part First, Section 10
11. Part First, Section 11
12. Part First, Section 12
13. Part First, Section 13
14. Part First, Section 14
15. Part First, Section 15
16. Part Second, Preface
17. Part Second, Section 1
18. Part Second, Section 2
19. Part Second, Section 3
20. Part Second, Section 4
21. Part Second, Section 5
22. Part Second, Section 6
23. Part Second, Section 7
24. Part Second, Section 8
25. Part Second, Section 9
26. Part Second, Section 10
27. Part Second, Section 11
28. Part Second, Section 12
29. Part Second, Section 13
30. Part Second, Section 14
31. Part Second, Section 15
32. Part Second, Section 16
33. Part Second, Section 17
34. Part Second, Section 18
35. Part Second, Section 19
36. Part Second, Section 20
37. Part Third, Preface and Introduction
38. Part Third, An Essay on Dreams
39. Part Third, Section 1
40. Part Third, Section 2
41. Part Third, Section 3
42. Part Third, Section 4
43. Part Third, Section 5
44. Part Third, Section 6
45. Part Third, Section 7
46. Part Third, Section
47. Part Third, Appendix - Contradictory Doctrines in the New Testament, Between Matthew And Mark
48. Part Third, Appendix - My Private Thoughts on a Future State

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Summary

The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology is a pamphlet, written by a British and American revolutionary Thomas Paine. The Age of Reason challenges institutionalized religion and challenges the legitimacy of the Bible, the central sacred text of Christianity. Published in three parts in 1794, 1795, and 1807, it was a bestseller in the United States, where it caused a short-lived deistic revival. Part 1 was written sometime in 1793, and attacks the concepts of divine revelation and inspiration. He urged his readers to employ reason over revelation. Part 2 was written either during or shortly after his confinement in a French prison in 1794. In Part 2, Paine attacks the reliability of the Bible and points out numerous absurdities and contradictions. Part 3 was written in the United States sometime around 1800 but he delayed publication until 1807 for fears of violent backlash. Part 3 is an examination and rejection of the claims of prophecies concerning Jesus Christ. Although these arguments were commonly known amongst the educated elite, Paine wrote in simple and irreverent prose that was easily accessible to a mass audience. Paine argued against religion as it is revealed in the Bible, but he argued just as strongly for a Deistic religion and a Creator of Reason. This Librivox recording of The Age of Reason is taken from Richard Carlile’s anthology of Paine’s writings, published in 1818. Carlile charged one shilling and sixpence for the work, and the first run of 1,000 copies sold out in a month. He immediately published a second edition of 3,000 copies. In 1819, Carlile was found guilty of blasphemy and seditious libel and sentenced to three years in Dorchester Gaol with a fine of £1,500. The prosecutions surrounding the printing of The Age of Reason in Britain continued for thirty years after its initial release and encompassed numerous publishers as well as over a hundred booksellers.