Toleration In The Enlightenment

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Grell’s and Porter’s Toleration in Enlightenment Europe focuses on “the ambiguities, limits, fluctuations … [and] the extension of toleration in the Enlightenment.” The book addresses ideas of Voltaire, Locke, Montesquieu as well as other writers, who, maybe less known, contribute significantly to this concept. Theory and practice differed greatly, as shown by examples of ideas of enlightened thinkers and several rulers in 17th and 18th century Europe. Grell and Porter (2000) though the demand to reform it was present. Locke stated that “man was born free and under universal law in state of Nature”. Therefore, despots have no rights to force religion upon their citizens. Also, this worldly rulers had no role in the whereabouts of the afterlife of the individual. The magistrate’s job is to maintain peace. This was a reaction to the bloody religious wars. With the Peace of Westphalia, change was sought. Religion was from that moment on neutralized and was not meant to unsettle relations between in the Empire. This is important, as it changed the view on religion in politics. By describing “four characteristic forms of Enlightenment religion”, namely “deism, religion of the heart, fideism and atheism”, Bristow (2010) shows us what kind of religions emerged from the Enlightenment. All four have to do with a supreme being ruling us. Deism, he says, accepts that there is a supreme intelligence, but “[it] does not interfere with creation” (2.3). It also does not accept miracles
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