Cover image for Religious toleration : "the variety of rites" from Cyrus to Defoe
Religious toleration : "the variety of rites" from Cyrus to Defoe
Laursen, John Christian.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xx, 252 pages ; 22 cm
Orientation: clarifying the conceptual issues / John Christian Laursen -- Cyrus II and the political utility of religious toleration / Cyrus Masroori -- Toleration, accommodation, and the East-West dialogue / Zhang Longxi -- Natio and the "Variety of rites": foundations of religious toleration in Nicholas of Cusa / Cary J. Nederman -- National prejudice and religion in the toleration debate between Bartolomé de Las Casas and Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda / Gerardo López Sastre -- The Spanish struggle for justification in the conquest of America: tolerance and intolerance in early writings on Spanish America / Kevin Terraciano -- The toleration of Muslims in renaissance England: practice and theory / Nabil Matar -- "Woe unto you that laugh now!": humor and toleration in Overton and Shaftesbury / Sammy Basu -- Bayle and Leibniz: two paradigms of tolerance and some reflections on goodness without God / Sally L. Jenkinson -- From denominationalism to enlightenment: Pufendorf, Le Clerc, and Thomasius on toleration / Simone Zurbuchen -- Daniel Defoe: dissent, economics, and toleration / Daniel Brühlmeier -- Annotated bibliography of religious peace, concord, and toleration literature: 1500-1700 / John Christian Laursen and Cyrus Masroori.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL640 .R45 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Delving into rich but little-known sources, Religious Toleration combats the standard understanding of toleration as a development of the modern West by demonstrating its occurrence in ancient Persia and China, medieval Europe, colonial Latin America, and Europe before the Enlightenment. Cyrus of Persia returned the Jews to Jerusalem, founding biblical and Greek traditions of toleration. The ancient Chinese tolerated the Jews as well, and arguments for mutual toleration in early Spanish America came from both the Spanish and the native sides. From medieval times to the rise of commercial society, Europeans experimented with ideas about toleration that have been forgotten until recently. This book brings to light a substantial portion of religious history by reviving the heritage of toleration, and it is the first to juxtapose early theories and practices of toleration in a global comparative perspective.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Attempting to redress the common neglect of pre-Enlightenment and non-Western ideas of toleration, the editor and ten other political scientists consider theories of toleration advocated or practiced in a wide variety of historical contexts: in ancient Persia by Cyrus II, in ancient and early modern China, among native Americans under Spanish rule, and in premodern Europe. The unifying element of these otherwise disparate studies is a concern to understand theories of toleration within their specific historical contexts. They reflect careful scholarship and will certainly convince the reader that toleration is an extraordinarily complex concept and far more than simply the product of Locke, of the Enlightenment, or of liberalism. This volume has many virtues: a discussion by Laursen (Univ. of California, Riverside) of conceptual issues, the exploration of neglected figures in the history of toleration, the insightful analysis of better-known figures such as Bartolome de Las Casas, John Locke, and Anthony Shaftesbury, and thorough documentation, including an annotated bibliography. Essays are clearly written and accessible to general readers as well as specialists. This study is highly recommended for university and large public libraries. S. C. Pearson; Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

Table of Contents

John Christian LaursenJohn Christian LaursenCyrus MasrooriZhang LongxiCary J. NedermanGerardo Lopez SasterKevin TerracianoNabil MatarSammy BasuSally L. JenkinsonSimone ZurbuchenDaniel BruhlmeierJohn Christian Laursen and Cyrus Masroori
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. ix
1. Orientation: Clarifying the Conceptual Issuesp. 1
2. Cyrus II and the Political Utility of Religious Tolerationp. 13
3. Toleration, Accommodation, and the East-West Dialoguep. 37
4. Natio and the "Variety of Rites": Foundations of Religious Toleration in Nicholas of Cusap. 59
5. National Prejudice and Religion in the Toleration Debate between Bartolome de Las Casas and Juan Gines de Sepulvedap. 75
6. The Spanish Struggle for Justification in the Conquest of America: Tolerance and Intolerance in Early Writings on Spanish Americap. 93
7. The Toleration of Muslims in Renaissance England: Practice and Theoryp. 127
8. "Woe unto you that laugh now!": Humor and Toleration in Overton and Shaftesburyp. 147
9. Bayle and Leibniz: Two Paradigms of Tolerance and Some Reflections on Goodness without Godp. 173
10. From Denominationalism to Enlightenment: Pufendorf, Le Clerc, and Thomasius on Tolerationp. 191
11. Daniel Defoe: Dissent, Economics, and Tolerationp. 211
Annotated Bibliography of Religious Peace, Concord, and Toleration Literature: 1500-1700p. 229
Contributorsp. 247
Indexp. 249