What are the major differences between William Bradford's and Thomas Paine's beliefs about religion?
The main differences between the two writers lie in Thomas Paine's "Age of Reason" being an attack on traditional Christianity and a defence of deism while William Bradford was a devout Puritan who believed in the literal truth of Christianity. Also, Bradford saw the foundation of America as a uniquely providential event in the spread and development of the true Christian faith, whereas Paine sees America as a place of freedom where one can throw off the shackles of the old religion. Although both thinkers believed in God, Bradford sees Jesus as having both divine and human nature and being part of the Holy Trinity and Paine sees Jesus simply as a good and wise man. Bradford believes the Bible to be the Word of God and Paine sees it as a human document.