BN.com Gift Guide

Beyond Toleration: The Religious Origins of American Pluralism

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $21.63
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 32%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $21.63   
  • New (5) from $28.29   
  • Used (2) from $21.63   

Overview

At its founding, the United States was one of the most religiously diverse places in the world. Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Quakers, Dutch Reformed, German Reformed, Lutherans, Huguenots, Dunkers, Jews, Moravians, and Mennonites populated the nations towns and villages. Dozens of new denominations would emerge over the succeeding years. What allowed people of so many different faiths to forge a nation together?
In this richly told story of ideas, Chris Beneke demonstrates how the United States managed to overcome the religious violence and bigotry that characterized much of early modern Europe and America. The key, Beneke argues, did not lie solely in the protection of religious freedom. Instead, he reveals how American culture was transformed to accommodate the religious differences within it. The expansion of individual rights, the mixing of believers and churches in the same institutions, and the introduction of more civility into public life all played an instrumental role in creating the religious pluralism for which the United States has become renowned. These changes also established important precedents for future civil rights movements in which dignity, as much as equality, would be at stake.
Beyond Toleration is the first book to offer a systematic explanation of how early Americans learned to live with differences in matters of the highest importance to them —and how they found a way to articulate these differences civilly. Today when religious conflicts once again pose a grave danger to democratic experiments across the globe, Beneke's book serves as a timely reminder of how one country moved past toleration and towards religious pluralism.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of American pluralism and religious liberty. Both general readers and specialists will profit from this insightful, readable volume."—Church History

"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

"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

"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

"Beneke sees early American religious toleration as a necessary forerunner to present-day attempts not only to tolerate but to celebrate difference ... [A] wide-ranging, ambitious survey... well written and engaging." —American Historical Review

"Beneke persuasively demonstrates that the mere pronouncement of toleration was far removed from the state of true tolerance that would later emerge." —The New England Quarterly

"[A] shrewdly observing book." —Journal of Modern History

"Refreshing...a multifaceted portrait fo the change in public norms from grudgin toleration of 'error' to a robust articulation of the rights of religious minorities to live out their deepest commitments without fear of harassment or persecution." —Journal of Religion

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195382662
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/29/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,347,174
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Beneke is Assistant Professor of History at Bentley College in Waltham, MA. He received his Bachelors degree from Cornell University and his PhD from Northwestern University.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)