The religious thought of Edmund Burke includes published works by Edmund Burke and commentary on the same. Burke's religious thought was grounded in his belief that religion is the foundation of civil society. He sharply criticized deism and atheism and emphasized Christianity as a vehicle of social progress. Born in Ireland to a Protestant father and Catholic mother, Burke vigorously defended the Church of England, but also demonstrated sensitivity to Catholic concerns. He linked the conservation of a state religion with the preservation of citizens’ constitutional liberties and highlighted Christianity’s benefits not only to the believer’s soul but also to political arrangements.