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Religious Toleration or Religious Freedom? – John Locke’s Debate with Edward Bagshaw

Sat, November 7, 3:45 to 5:15pm EST (3:45 to 5:15pm EST), Zoom, Zoom 02


In Two Tracts on Government (1660 & 1662), Locke argues for religion toleration in the sense that the sovereign tolerates doctrines of faith but does not tolerate the outward religious worship. By contrast, Bagshaw who is a radical Puritan favors religious freedom instead of religious toleration. Through his debate with Bagshaw on whether the civil magistrate may impose indifferent things in religious worship, Locke tries to establish the sovereign’s authority on religion. By arguing for the tolerance of the sovereign, Locke in the early 1660s is a Hobbesian who supports a conditionally tolerant state.