Gamaliel: A Historical Question

Ed Darrell edarrell at
Fri Feb 4 09:55:05 PST 2011

Sorta off topic question:  How do you pronounce "Gamaliel?"  Is there a story to how Warren Harding got that for a middle name?

Ed Darrell

--- On Fri, 2/4/11, Wallace, E. Gregory <wallaceg at> wrote:

From: Wallace, E. Gregory <wallaceg at>
Subject: RE: Gamaliel: A Historical Question
To: "Law & Religion issues for Law Academics" <religionlaw at>
Date: Friday, February 4, 2011, 11:36 AM


Tolerationists during the period often referred to Gamaliel. For example, see John Goodwin's tract, Theomachia; or The Grand Imprudence of men running the hazard of fighting
 against God (1644). Dirck Coornhert is another. (see Gerrit Voogt, Constraint on Trial: Dirck Volckertsz Coornhert and Religious Freedom (2000), at 118). Also, check out the discussion on theological fallibilism in John Coffey's Persecution and Toleration
 in Protestant England 1558-1689 (Longman, 2000) at pp. 65ff.

Greg Wallace
Campbell University School of Law

From: religionlaw-bounces at [religionlaw-bounces at] on behalf of Nathan Oman [nate.oman at]

Sent: Friday, February 04, 2011 11:17 AM

To: Law & Religion issues for Law Academics

Subject: Gamaliel: A Historical Question

I have a question for those of you who are familiar with early modern, e.g. 16th and 17th century, debates over religious toleration.  Do you know of any writers that used the story of Gamaliel as a justification for toleration.  In the NT, Gamaliel is
 a Pharisee who argues against the persecution of the early Christians on the grounds that if there work is not of God it will perish but if it is of God one would be sinning in acting against it.  Either way, the best course of action is toleration.  (See
 Acts 5)  I am just wondering if it was every invoked in polemics about religious toleration.


Nathan B. Oman

Associate Professor

William & Mary Law School

P.O. Box 8795

Williamsburg, VA 23187

(757) 221-3919

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken." -Oliver Cromwell


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