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Locke and the politics and theology of toleration

Stanton, T. (2006) Locke and the politics and theology of toleration. Political Studies, 54 (1). pp. 84-102. ISSN 0032-3217

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Locke's theory of toleration has been understood to rest on the claim that persecution was insufficient to instil either (i) true or (ii) sincere belief in people. Although Locke did indeed make both these claims, neither was fundamental to his theory. Locke was principally concerned to deny that persecution was necessary to instil true or sincere belief; its insufficiency to those ends he, and his contemporaries, took for granted. His denial of the necessity of persecution presupposed that human beings were, in principle, naturally adequate to the discovery of God's wants for them. The same presupposition, which derives from natural theology, underwrote the views in politics and revealed theology that complete his theory and supplied its moral content. Contemporary theories of toleration purposing to proceed on Lockean assumptions are morally and philosophically impoverished by their failure to see the requirements laid on an adequate theory of toleration by genuinely Lockean terms.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Politics (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2009 12:44
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2009 12:44
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9248.2006.00567.x
Status: Published
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1467-9248.2006.00567.x
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7324

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