Beyond Toleration
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Beyond Toleration : The Religious Origins of American Pluralism

3.76 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The legal changes that brought religious liberty to the United States have been thoroughly documented. But no one has explained how 18th-century Americans managed to accommodate the religious differences that had produced so much bloodshed in the past. Drawing on pamphlets and broadsides, newspaper exchanges, document collections, personal diaries, church records, and legislative journals, Chris Beneke shows how early Americans learned to live amid a great diversity of beliefs and modes of worship. He briefly summarizes the long history of persecution in Europe and America, and then examines the factors that contributed to the cultural revolution that took place in the realm of ideas and public norms in America. Beneke is the first to offer a systematic explanation of how a people who still cared deeply about the fate of their immortal souls could manage to live with those who held significantly different beliefs about God and the church - in other words, how Americans learned to live with differences in matters of the highest importance to them, and found a way to articulate these differences without offense.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 453.59g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195382668
  • 9780195382662
  • 1,988,076

Review quote

Written in a sparkling style, this book exhibits a comprehensiveness - both in the text and in the notes - -that wins immediate confidence. Moreover, the theme of the development of religious liberty in America is one whose significance can hardly be exaggerated. Readers will be richly informed by this wise and perceptive book. * Edwin S. Gaustad, author of Roger Williams and Benjamin Franklin * I know of no book that traces the historical transition from toleration to religious liberty in America as well as this one. This highly readable and well-documented text is sure to enjoy a wide readership. * Derek H. Davis, author of Religion and the Continental Congress, 1774-1789: Contributions to Original Intent * In this well-written book, Chris Beneke argues that American colonials, even before the American revolution, had moved beyond the legal toleration of religious dissenters to create a pluralist culture that made the category of religious dissenter irrelevant. Several centuries later Americans still wrestle with the meaning of cultural pluralism, but Beneke correctly insists that men and women of ardent faith first made the concept central to the concept of liberty. * R. Laurence Moore, author of Touchdown Jesus: The Mixing of Sacred and Secular in American History *show more

About Chris Beneke

Chris Beneke is Assistant Professor of History at Bentley College in Waltham, MA. He received his bachelor's degree from Cornell University and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University.show more

Rating details

13 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 15% (2)
4 54% (7)
3 23% (3)
2 8% (1)
1 0% (0)
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