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Persecution and Pluralism

Calvinists and Religious Minorities in Early Modern Europe 1550-1700


Richard J. Bonney and David J.B. Trim

With one exception, the papers collected here were first presented at a conference sponsored by the British Academy held at Newbold College, Berkshire, in 1999. This volume provides a historical perspective to the emerging literature on pluralism. A range of experts examine how Calvinists in early modern France, England, Hungary and the Netherlands related to members of other faith communities and to society in general. The essays explore the importance of Calvinists’ separateness and potent sense of identity. To what extent did this enable them to survive persecution? Did it at times actually induce repression? Where Calvinists held political power, why did they often turn from persecuted into persecutors? How did they relate to (Ana)Baptists, Quakers and Catholics, for example? The conventional wisdom that toleration (and, in consequence, pluralism) resulted from a waning in religious zeal is queried and alternative explanations considered. Finally, the concept of ‘pluralism’ itself is investigated.
Contents: Richard Bonney/D.J.B. Trim: Introduction – Luc Racaut: Persecution or Pluralism? Propaganda and Opinion-Forming during the French Wars of Religion – Richard Bonney: ‘God, Fatherland and Freedom’: Rethinking Pluralism in Hungary in the Era of Partition and Rebellion, 1526-1711 – Judith Pollmann: From Freedom of Conscience to Confessional Segregation? Religious Choice and Toleration in the Dutch Republic – John Coffey: Scepticism, Dogmatism and Toleration in Seventeenth-Century England – Mary Trim: ‘In This Day of Perplexity’: Seventeenth-century Quaker Women – Christopher Durston: ‘Settling the Hearts and Quieting the Minds of all Good People’: The Major-Generals and the Puritan Minorities of Interregnum England – Paul C.-H. Lim: Adiaphora, Ecclesiology and Reformation: John Owen’s Theology of Religious Toleration in Context – Brian E. Strayer: The Edict of Fontainebleau (1685) and the Huguenots: Who’s to Blame? – David L. Wykes: ‘So Bitterly Censur’d and Revil’d: Religious Dissent and Relations with the Church of England After the Toleration Act.