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Tindal, Matthew (1657–1733)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-K104-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 22, 2024, from

Article Summary

Matthew Tindal was one of the last and most learned exponents of English deism. His most famous work is Christianity as Old as the Creation (1730), a comprehensive apology for natural religion. In it, he argued that God’s law is imprinted on the nature of all things, including the human soul, and is accessible to reason. Revealed religion merely restates this universal law – the will of God – in a different form. Religion enables us to act in accordance with this natural order, and its end is happiness. However, Tindal was scathingly critical of the clergy, and cast doubt on the reliability of the Bible. Although Tindal’s work was severely criticized by William Law, it exerted a considerable influence on the English and Continental Enlightenment.

Citing this article:
Seban, Jean-Loup. Tindal, Matthew (1657–1733), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-K104-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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