Religious Tolerance in the Atlantic World: Early Modern and Contemporary Perspectives (BOK)
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What does it mean to be tolerant? Does tolerance entail open-mindedness or grudging forbearance? How is it possible to accommodate those who appear themselves to be intolerant, or who profess loyalty to an alien set of laws? And how can tolerance be reconciled with both religious 'truth' and secularity? These essays, by leading scholars of history, English literature and political science, address such questions in the context of both early modern England and America and contemporary Britain and the US. Placing highly topical debates in vital historical perspective, the essays explore issues of difference and diversity, inclusion and exclusion, and the relationship between faith and the state, with reference to a variety of Christian groups, Jews and Muslims. They examine how far concepts of religious liberty have really evolved from that foundational era; the relative merits of comparative historical and teleological approaches to the history of tolerance; and how enduring problems of religious disharmony can be illuminated by comparisons and contrasts with the early modern period.