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John Locke, Toleration and Early Enlightenment Culture
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  • Page extent: 776 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 1.34 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 201/.72309032
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: BR1610 .M26 2006
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Locke, John,--1632-1704
    • Religious tolerance--Europe--History--17th century
    • Enlightenment

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521651141 | ISBN-10: 052165114X)

This book is a major intellectual and cultural history of intolerance and toleration in early modern and early Enlightenment Europe. John Marshall offers an extensive study of late seventeenth-century practices of religious intolerance and toleration in England, Ireland, France, Piedmont and the Netherlands and the arguments that John Locke and his associates made in defence of 'universal religious toleration'. He analyses early modern and early Enlightenment discussions of toleration, debates over toleration for Jews and Muslims as well as for Christians, the limits of toleration for the intolerant, atheists, 'libertines' and 'sodomites', and the complex relationships between intolerance and resistance theories including Locke's own Treatises. This study is a significant contribution to the history of the 'republic of letters' of the 1680s and the development of early Enlightenment culture and is essential reading for scholars of early modern European history, religion, political science and philosophy.

• A major study of debates about irreligious toleration in early modern Europe • Locates Locke's thought in the wider context of early Enlightenment culture • Based on extensive new research and unprecedented in its scope


Part I. Catholic and Protestant Intolerance in the Later Seventeenth Century: 1. Catholic intolerance, its representations in England c.1678–86, and Locke's Second Treatise; 2. Catholic intolerance and the significance of its representations in England, Ireland, and the Netherlands c.1687–92; 3. Protestant religious intolerance in England c.1660–c.1700; 4. Religious toleration and intolerance in the Netherlands and in the Huguenot community in exile; Part II. Justifications of Intolerance and the Emergence of Arguments for Toleration: Section 1: Justifications of Intolerance to c.1660: 5. Patristic and medieval sources of early modern intolerance: anathematising heretics and schismatics as seditious, pestilential poisoners, 'libertines' and 'sodomites'; 6. Heresy and schism, sedition and treason, and 'contrarities' and 'inversions' in the 'Last Days'; 7. Catholic and 'Magisterial Reformation' attacks on Anabaptism, Anti-Trinitarianism, and Atheism; 8. Anathematising heretics in sixteenth and early seventeenth century French religious polemic; 9. Antiheretical and antischismatic literature in England from the late sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth century; Section 2: The Emergence of Tolerationist Arguments and their Condemnation: 10. Early tolerationist arguments and their condemnation; 11. Arguments for and against religious toleration in the Netherlands c.1579–c.1680; 12. Toleration and intolerance, Jews and Muslims; Section 3: Catholic and Protestant Defences of Intolerance in the Later Seventeenth Century: 13. Catholic justifications of intolerance in the 1680s and 1690s; 14. Huguenot justifications of intolerance and debates over resistance in the 1680s and 1690s; 15. Justifying intolerance in England c.1660–c.1700; Part III. The 'Early Enlightenment' Defence of Toleration and the 'Republic of Letters' in the 1680s and 1690s: 16. Tolerationist associations in the 1680s and 1690s and virtuous service in the cause of toleration in the 'early enlightenment republic of letters'; 17. Political and economic arguments for religious toleration in the 1680s and 1690s; 18. Toleration, 'heretics' and 'schismatics'; 19. Toleration and Jews, Muslims, and 'Pagans'; 20. The historical argument for toleration and 'early Enlightenment' advocacy of 'humanity' and 'civility'; 21. Epistemological, philological, theological, and ethical arguments for religious toleration; 22. Toleration and the intolerant, Catholics, 'Atheists', 'Libertines' and 'sodomites'.


Review of the hardback: 'A powerful piece of scholarship - brilliantly conceived, breath-taking in scope, and rich in historical insight - it will be of interest to a wide variety of scholars across a range of disciplines (history, religion, political science, philosophy, history of science, literature, and queer studies). … a remarkable scholarly accomplishment. Marshall's book is surely destined to become a classic.' Catholic Historical Review

Review of the hardback: 'This is a vast intellectual undertaking, in some measures, comparable to Quentin Skinner's Foundations (1978), which aspires to outline the historical relationship between the theory and practice of religious intolerance and tolerance in Europe after the reformation and before the Enlightenment. Like Skinner's great work, it is committed to a contextual method to explain and understand the thinking of the times.' Journal of British Studies

Review of the hardback: '… this book is a tour de force. … Marshall is to be congratulated on an important study that identifies and anatomizes the intellectual history of one of the most significant moments in early modern European history.' H-net.Albion

Review of the hardback: 'Marshall's new text on the toleration debates should become a standard overview of the broad historical background of Locke's writing - both the toleration debates and the rise of the republic of letters.' Eighteenth Century Studies

Review of the hardback: '… in his magisterial tome … Marshall undertakes the massive task of describing the intellectual, religious, political, and cultural contexts in which discourses concerning toleration developed in early modern Europe. … Marshall has written an important and monumental work. Using works by Quentin Skinner, J. G. A. Pocock, and Jonathan Israel as historiographical models, Marshall seeks to provide, in appropriately Baroque detail, the full weight of arguments for and against toleration from the period of the Reformation to the late seventeenth century.' Sixteenth Century Journal

Review of the hardback: '… an outstanding contribution to the history of religious toleration … offers the most comprehensive treatment of the subject in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the early years of the Enlightenment, that now exists.' Church History

Review of the hardback: ' … detailed, judicious and rewarding. Any intellectual historian concerned with the social and intellectual framework of toleration in the period, or with the early Enlightenment more broadly, is well served by this magisterial treatment … Marshall's scholarship is tremendous … Marshall's book opens new and valuable windows on the Early Enlightenment … the work is an immense contribution to Lockean and late seventeenth-century scholarship. … suberb.' History of Political Thought

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