Paradoxes of Religious Toleration in Early Modern Political Thought

Paradoxes of Religious Toleration in Early Modern Political Thought

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The early modern theories of religious toleration that were so influential on our own ways of thinking about religion and tolerance were ripe with paradox, ambiguity, inconsistency, hidden flaws, and blind spots. The scholars in this volume explore those weak points in the hope that identifying their causes may help us strengthen our own ideas and promote toleration in ways that can avoid those paradoxes.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 230 pages
  • 158 x 232 x 22mm | 498.95g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0739172166
  • 9780739172162

Table of contents

Introduction: Paradoxes of Toleration in Early Modern Political Thought John Christian Laursen and Maria Jose Villaverde Chapter 1: Spinoza's Paradoxes: An Atheist who Defended the Scriptures? A Freethinking Alchemist? Maria Jose Villaverde Chapter 2: Spinoza on Lying for Toleration and his Intolerance of Atheists John Christian Laursen Chapter 3: Jansenist Fears and Huguenot Polemics: Arnauld, Jurieu, and Bayle on Obedience and Toleration Luisa Simonutti Chapter 4: 'The general freedom, which all men enjoy' in a Confessional State: The Paradoxical Language of Politics in the Dutch Republic (1700-1750) Henri Krop Chapter 5: A Leibnizian Way to Tolerance: Between Ethical Universalism and Linguistic Diversity Concha Roldan Chapter 6: Toleration in China and Siam in Late Seventeenth Century European Travel Literature Rolando Minuti Chapter 7: Toleration in Denis Veiras's Theocracy Cyrus Masroori Chapter 8: David Hume on Religious Tolerance Gerardo Lopez Sastre Chapter 9: Rousseau, A False Apostle of Tolerance Maria Jose Villaverde Chapter 10: Intolerance of Fanatics in Bayle, Hume, and Kant John Christian Laursen Chapter 11: Tolerance and Intolerance in the Writings of the French Antiphilosophes (1750-1789) Jonathan Israel Chapter 12: Immanuel Kant: Tolerance Seen As Respect Joaquin Abellan
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Review quote

The greatest intellectual virtue of the essays contained in the present volume is their collective commitment to exploring the diverse and sometimes paradoxical ways in which ideas of religious toleration were deployed during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This approach, announced by the editors in their introduction, permits the inclusion of a variety of fresh voices into the discussion of a fraught yet singularly important issue. An eminent group of international scholars explodes many of the myths and misunderstandings that have shrouded the historical roots of religious toleration, contributing innovative insights of direct relevance to twenty-first century debates about how, when, and to whom tolerance should be extended. -- Cary J. Nederman, Texas A&M University The twelve essays in this excellent collection are linked through their attention to the paradoxical and ironic dimensions of interpretations of toleration in the works of philosophers and writers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a period in which toleration remained a nearly insoluble problem, as one contributor put it. The essays bring out a real parallel to our own contemporary wrangling over the extent and meaning of toleration. Which parties or practices deserve space for expression? Are the tolerators the most repressive of all? Writers then as now deployed charges of "fanaticism" and compared the tolerance of Asian vs. western varieties. This collection, edited by Laursen and Villaverde to show how overlapping problems played out, explores these and other conundrums and the brilliant minds who grappled with them. It should be of interest to scholars and students interested in the still essential and vital questions of toleration. -- Ingrid Creppell, George Washington University
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About Maria Jose Villaverde

John Christian Laursen is professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside. Maria Jose Villaverde is professor of political science at the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain.
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