Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Henrik Lagerlund


  • Cary J. NedermanEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1151-5_499-2


Although the idea of toleration (understood as forbearance of beliefs and practices different from one’s own) is often supposed to be of modern invention, there were many medieval authors who proposed philosophical grounds for it. Broadly speaking, these medieval doctrines of tolerance may be classified according to a fourfold scheme: skepticism, functionalism, nationalism, and mysticism. Each of the medieval paths to toleration depended upon distinct philosophical principles, but all of them led to the conclusion that differing views about theological and religious truths could be permitted and discussed.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceTexas A & M UniversityCollege StationUSA