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Program in British Studies

'Locke and the Limits of Toleration'

Al Martinich

Fri, November 18, 2011 | Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206

2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

The history of religious toleration in seventeenth-century England is a story of progress and regress, with toleration being extended or denied according to what religious group was in power, which not, and sometimes according to the religion of the monarch's spouse.  Self-interest also played a role.  At the same time, various intellectuals were giving principled arguments for toleration.  John Locke, who comes near the end of this tradition, drew a sharp line between the proper realm of government and the proper realm of religion.  But he could not find it within himself to tolerate Roman Catholics or atheists.

Al Martinich is Roy Allison Vaughan Centennial Professor in Philosophy and Professor of History and Government at the University of Texas at Austin.  Among his books are The Two Gods of Leviathan: Thomas Hobbes on Religion and Politics (1992); and Hobbes: A Biography (1999), which won the Robert Hamilton Book Award.  He is co-editor of The Oxford Companion to Hobbes (OUP, forthcoming) and also editor of The Philosophy of Language, 6th ed. (OUP, forthcoming).

Sponsored by: Faculty Seminar on British Studies

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