The Age of Reason (version 2)

Thomas PAINE (1737 - 1809)

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. (Summary by JoeD and wikipedia)

Genre(s): *Non-fiction, Philosophy, Political Science

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Part First, Section 1 JoeD
00:09:15
Play 02 Part First, Section 2 JoeD
00:10:01
Play 03 Part First, Section 3 JoeD
00:09:26
Play 04 Part First, Section 4 JoeD
00:10:58
Play 05 Part First, Section 5 JoeD
00:11:59
Play 06 Part First, Section 6 JoeD
00:09:57
Play 07 Part First, Section 7 JoeD
00:11:33
Play 08 Part First, Section 8 JoeD
00:13:04
Play 09 Part First, Section 9 JoeD
00:08:31
Play 10 Part First, Section 10 JoeD
00:12:15
Play 11 Part First, Section 11 JoeD
00:12:51
Play 12 Part First, Section 12 JoeD
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Play 13 Part First, Section 13 JoeD
00:12:52
Play 14 Part First, Section 14 JoeD
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Play 15 Part First, Section 15 JoeD
00:09:17
Play 16 Part Second, Preface JoeD
00:09:55
Play 17 Part Second, Section 1 JoeD
00:11:57
Play 18 Part Second, Section 2 JoeD
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Play 19 Part Second, Section 3 JoeD
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Play 20 Part Second, Section 4 JoeD
00:15:42
Play 21 Part Second, Section 5 JoeD
00:22:03
Play 22 Part Second, Section 6 JoeD
00:12:46
Play 23 Part Second, Section 7 JoeD
00:21:17
Play 24 Part Second, Section 8 JoeD
00:13:54
Play 25 Part Second, Section 9 JoeD
00:15:23
Play 26 Part Second, Section 10 JoeD
00:17:44
Play 27 Part Second, Section 11 JoeD
00:13:43
Play 28 Part Second, Section 12 JoeD
00:17:08
Play 29 Part Second, Section 13 JoeD
00:17:11
Play 30 Part Second, Section 14 JoeD
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Play 31 Part Second, Section 15 JoeD
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Play 32 Part Second, Section 16 JoeD
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Play 33 Part Second, Section 17 JoeD
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Play 34 Part Second, Section 18 JoeD
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Play 35 Part Second, Section 19 JoeD
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Play 36 Part Second, Section 20 JoeD
00:19:43
Play 37 Part Third, Preface and Introduction JoeD
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Play 38 Part Third, An Essay on Dreams JoeD
00:22:30
Play 39 Part Third, Section 1 JoeD
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Play 40 Part Third, Section 2 JoeD
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Play 41 Part Third, Section 3 JoeD
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Play 42 Part Third, Section 4 JoeD
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Play 43 Part Third, Section 5 JoeD
00:14:28
Play 44 Part Third, Section 6 JoeD
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Play 45 Part Third, Section 7 JoeD
00:23:05
Play 46 Part Third, Section JoeD
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Play 47 Part Third, Appendix - Contradictory Doctrines in the New Testament, Between Matthew And Mark JoeD
00:05:09
Play 48 Part Third, Appendix - My Private Thoughts on a Future State JoeD
00:05:08