Histories of Heresy in Early Modern Europe

For, Against, and Beyond Persecution and Toleration

  • John Christian Laursen

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Introduction Histories of Heresy in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

  3. Outraged Orthodoxy—The Hard Line

  4. Heretics in Self-Defense and Calls for Toleration

  5. Radical Heretics on the Offensive

  6. A Plague on Many Houses Joining Hands Against Enthusiasm

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 185-187
    2. John G. A. Pocock
      Pages 205-220
  7. Enlightened Orthodoxy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 221-222
    2. Patrick Coleman
      Pages 223-238
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 281-290

About this book


Toleration of differing religious ideas exists in parts of the contemporary world, but it is still not clear how this came about. Recent work has uncovered the enormous importance one branch of historiography has had in bringing about such tolerance as we have: histories of heresy. This book brings together experts in this field in order to attempt to map out the contours and features of the influence of these histories on early modern and modern conceptions of toleration. Perhaps by showing heretics and heresies to be more benign than once thought, these histories could tease tolerance from the intolerant. The essays in this book attempt to piece together the intentions and effects of key works from this literature in the promotion or rejection of toleration in theory and practice.


heretics historiography history Judaism philosophy Thomas Hobbes work

Editors and affiliations

  • John Christian Laursen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

Bibliographic information