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A Letter Concerning Toleration
     

A Letter Concerning Toleration

3.3 3
by John Locke, Stuart E. Rosenbaum (Editor), Robert M. Baird (Editor)
 

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Ever since humankind raised its head toward the heavens in search of universal understanding and spiritual fulfillment, wars, pogroms, persecution, prejudice, and contempt have been the means of resolving the many and varied disagreements that have arisen over matters religious.

In his Letter Concerning Toleration, Locke offers a compelling plea for freedom of

Overview

Ever since humankind raised its head toward the heavens in search of universal understanding and spiritual fulfillment, wars, pogroms, persecution, prejudice, and contempt have been the means of resolving the many and varied disagreements that have arisen over matters religious.

In his Letter Concerning Toleration, Locke offers a compelling plea for freedom of conscience and religious expression. He outlines the limits of social and political incursion into the realm of personal belief or non-belief, discusses the dangers of mixing church and state, and strikes hard at those who would use the power of the state to fulfill religious or political goals. Rational persuasion is always to be encouraged in the hope that wayward souls may find a moral direction in life, but the use of force in such matters is unwarranted and unacceptable.

Locke also addresses the question of denominational infighting and relations among the major religions. Talk of heresy and schism should be set aside in favor of understanding and cooperation to achieve mutually desirable social ends.

Editorial Reviews

Sam Black
"This edition stands out as a superb pedagogic resource. The translation is highly readable and accompanied by illuminating footnotes. The edition is especially valuable because it assembles many contributions to the debate on religious toleration by Locke's contemporaries, including selections from the exchange between Locke and his most forceful critic Jonas Proast. It is very convenient to have these materials collected for the first time in a single volume. The edition will prove indispensable for courses that investigate the intellectual origins of religious toleration in the West."
Nicholas Wolterstorff
"My guess is that this will shortly become the most used edition of Locke's Letter Concerning Toleration. The editor has an excellent introduction in which he describes the social context of the letter and the place it occupies in Locke's thought. He has done a fine job of bringing up to date the standard translation of Locke's Latin. And it is very useful to have, as an appendix, a few passages on toleration from Locke's other writings and some of the criticisms lodged at the time against Locke's views. All together, this is a fine publication of an important document in the history of religious toleration."
From the Publisher

“My guess is that this will shortly become the most used edition of Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration. The editor has an excellent introduction in which he describes the social context of the letter and the place it occupies in Locke’s thought. He has done a fine job of bringing up to date the standard translation of Locke’s Latin. And it is very useful to have, as an appendix, a few passages on toleration from Locke’s other writings and some of the criticisms lodged at the time against Locke’s views. All together, this is a fine publication of an important document in the history of religious toleration.” — Nicholas Wolterstorff, Yale University

“This edition stands out as a superb pedagogic resource. The edition is especially valuable because it assembles many contributions to the debate on religious toleration by Locke’s contemporaries, including selections from the exchange between Locke and his most forceful critic Jonas Proast. It is very convenient to have these materials collected for the first time in a single volume. The edition will prove indispensable for courses that investigate the intellectual origins of religious toleration in the West.” — Sam Black, Simon Fraser University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780879755980
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
05/28/1990
Series:
Great Books in Philosophy
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
78
Sales rank:
1,254,739
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.18(d)

Meet the Author

Kerry Walters is Professor of Philosophy at Gettysburg College.

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A Letter Concerning Toleration 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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