After the Storm
This chapter explores Locke’s lifelong concern with the issue of toleration against the background of the political and religious crises through which he lived. It is argued that the constancy of Locke’s interest in this issue is rivalled only by his concern with natural law. The chapter charts the development of Locke’s thought about toleration from the authoritarian views of his early writings to the more liberal views of his later works for which he is famous. The chapter also discusses the biographical and political factors that help to explain the development of his views; attention is paid to the impact of Shaftesbury, the Exclusion Crisis, the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and the ‘Glorious’ Revolution of 1688.
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