Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in Early Modern Europe
Course Organiser: Dr. Graeme Murdock
Weighting: 10 ECTS
Teaching Staff: Dr. Graeme Murdock
Does religious tolerance have a history? Was intolerance the normative state of pre-modern religious attitudes? What else explains the state and Church persecution of religious minorities, and outbreaks of popular Christian venom against heretics, Jews, Muslims and witches. When, and why, did Europeans begin to tolerate the presence of those of different religions in their communities? Did toleration emerge first among intellectuals who were committed to the ideal of tolerating religious differences as an expression of their reasonable form of religion? Or does religious toleration have its origins in the pragmatic responses of ordinary people to the breakdown of religious uniformity in much of Europe after the Reformation? This course introduces students to the changing meanings and interpretations of religious tolerance and intolerance in communities in early modern Europe through a range of printed and other sources. It covers writers and examples drawn from across the Continent and focuses on the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in particular.