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A Letter Concerning Toleration

By John Locke
  • Book ID : 9781554811250
  • Publisher : Broadview Press
  • Pages : 130
  • Genre : Philosophy
  • Reads : 852
  • eBook Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • File Pdf: a-letter-concerning-toleration.pdf

Book Summary:

Locke argued that religious belief ought to be compatible with reason, that no king, prince or magistrate rules legitimately without the consent of the people, and that government has no right to impose religious beliefs or styles of worship on the public. Locke’s defense of religious tolerance and freedom of thought was revolutionary in its time. Even today, his letter poses a challenge to religious intolerance, whether state-sponsored or originating from religious dogmatists. Based on both Locke’s original Latin and the seventeenth-century English translation of William Popple, this edition offers a reader-friendly version that remains loyal to the original text. In addition to a forty-page introduction that situates the Letter in its historical and philosophical contexts, this edition includes excerpts from writings on religious toleration by William Penn, Baruch Spinoza, Pierre Bayle, and Samuel von Pufendorf, as well as generous selections from the famous Locke-Proast debates on religious toleration.

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John Locke's Second Treatise of Government (c. 1681) is perhaps the key founding liberal text. A Letter Concerning Toleration, written in 1685 (a year when a Catholic monarch came to the throne of England and Louis XVI unleashed a reign of terror against Protestants in France), is a classic defense of religious freedom. Yet many of Locke's other writings--not least the Constitutions of Carolina, which he helped draft--are almost defiantly anti-liberal in outlook. This comprehensive collection brings together the main published works (excluding polemical attacks on other people's views) with the most important surviving evidence from among Locke’s papers relating to his political philosophy. David Wootton's wide-ranging and scholarly Introduction sets the writings in the context of their time, examines Locke's developing ideas and unorthodox Christianity, and analyzes his main arguments. The result is the first fully rounded picture of Locke’s political thought in his own words.