Beyond the Persecuting Society: Religious Toleration Before the Enlightenment

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John Laursen, Cary J. Nederman
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998 - Всего страниц: 288

There is a myth—easily shattered—that Western societies since the Enlightenment have been dedicated to the ideal of protecting the differences between individuals and groups, and another—too readily accepted—that before the rise of secularism in the modern period, intolerance and persecution held sway throughout Europe. In Beyond the Persecuting Society John Christian Laursen, Cary J. Nederman, and nine other scholars dismantle this second generalization.

If intolerance and religious persecution have been at the root of some of the greatest suffering in human history, it is nevertheless the case that toleration was practiced and theorized in medieval and early modern Europe on a scale few have realized: Christians and Jews, the English, French, Germans, Dutch, Swiss, Italians, and Spanish had their proponents of and experiments with tolerance well before John Locke penned his famous Letter Concerning Toleration. Moving from Abelard to Aphra Behn, from the apology for the gentiles of the fourteenth-century Talmudic scholar, Menahem ben Solomon Ha-MeIiri, to the rejection of intolerance in the "New Israel" of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Beyond the Persecuting Society offers a detailed and decisive correction to a vision of the past as any less complex in its embrace and abhorrence of diversity than the present.


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The Medieval Balance
Peter Abelard and the Enigma of Dialogue
The Long Sixteenth Century
Cardinal Pole
Thomas F Mayer
The Concept of Toleration in the Colloquium Heptaplomeres
Religious Coexistence and Confessional Conflict in
Part III The Seventeenth Century
Samuel von Pufendorf and Toleration
Tolerance Requires Nontolerance
Deism and the Climate
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In addition to the editors, contributors are Detlef Dering, Arlen Feldwick, Randolph C. Head, Marion Leathers Kuntz, Thomas F. Mayer, Constant J. Mews, Richard Popkin, Gary Remer, and H. Frank Way. John Christian Laursen is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Riverside, and author of The Politics of Skepticism in the Ancients, Montaigne, Hume and Kant. Cary J. Nederman is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Arizona and author of Community and Consent: The Secular Political Theory of Marsiglio of Padua's "Defensor Pacis.

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