Exploring an issue that is key to early modern political, religious and cultural history, and covering the period from 1558 to 1689, this work examines what tolerant means now and meant then, within a European context. It explores the development of the liberal tradition and the modern conscience. Traditionally regarded as a period of expanding and extended liberalism, as superstition and received truth were overthrown, this book argues conversely that one set of intolerant orthodoxies was replaced by another. Introduced with a survey of the theory, including the writings of Locke and Hobbes, the book then studies the Stuarts, the Puritan Revolution and the Restoration.
John Coffey is Lecturer in History at the University of Leicester.