Religion, Revolution, Republicanism, and John Locke (seminar)

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For more past programming from the Folger Institute, please see the article Folger Institute scholarly programs archive.

This was a fall 2005 semester seminar.

This seminar, one of the Center for the History of British Political Thought programs, furthered the Center’s recent examinations of international networks of exchange and influence in political thought with a case study of some significant interactions, of both works and people, between Britain and the Netherlands, between the British Revolutions of 1642–60 and 1688–91, and beyond. John Locke composed, continued, or began several of his works while in exile in the Netherlands, was influenced by authors he met there, and continued correspondence with associates in the Netherlands after his return to England. Algernon Sidney, Gilbert Burnet, John Toland, the Third Earl of Shaftesbury, and others spent time in the Netherlands. Hobbes’s thought influenced Spinoza, and Spinozist thought influenced some British thinkers. Both the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) and the Revolutions of 1688–91 caused extensive debate and propaganda. This seminar examined these interactions, focusing especially strongly on the works and associates of John Locke and on the topics of religion and irreligion, toleration, resistance and revolution, and republicanism. All works were be read in English.

Director: John Marshall is Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of John Locke: Resistance, Religion, and Responsibility (1994) and John Locke, Toleration, and “Early Enlightenment” Culture (forthcoming). He is editing several of Locke's tolerationist writings for the Clarendon edition of the Works of John Locke.