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The Limits of Tolerance


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Table of Contents

New Introduction for the American Edition
1. Tolerance According to John Locke
2. Voltaire and Modern Tolerance
3. Tolerance in America
4. Tolerance in the Ottoman Empire
5. Tolerance in Venice
6. On Blasphemy
7. Multicultural Tolerance
8. Of Veils and Unveiling
9. New Restrictions, New Forms of Tolerance
10. Should We Tolerate the Enemies of Tolerance?
Epilogue for the American Edition: Tolerance in the Age of Terrorism

About the Author

Denis Lacorne is senior research fellow with the CERI (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales) at Sciences Po, Paris. His books in English include Religion in America: A Political History (Columbia, 2011) as well as Language, Nation, and State: Identity Politics in a Multilingual Age (2004) and With Us or Against Us: Studies in Global Anti-Americanism (2005), both coedited with Tony Judt.


He gives no pat answers, but an implicit lesson runs throughout. Defending toleration is not like protecting a jewel. It takes fixity of aim but also a feel for the changing context, persistence with a task that never ends and readiness to start again. Toleration does gradually spread. It can also suddenly vanish. * The Economist *
I simply don't know a book on toleration that compares to this one. Denis Lacorne has managed to weave together both an intellectual history of ideas about toleration and a wide-ranging international survey of policies related to it. Theory and practice come together in a very illuminating way and will expand the American reader's horizon beyond our borders. -- Mark Lilla, author of The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics
Living in a religiously tolerant society, Americans no longer understand what the challenge of achieving religious toleration originally meant: learning to coexist with beliefs and practices that one detested. Denis Lacorne begins this critical survey by recalling the great Enlightenment voices for toleration: Locke, Voltaire, and the American founders. But he then examines modern European and American disputes to demonstrate why the struggle for toleration and free exercise remains so problematic-a fight that never quite ends but that we grasp much better after reading Lacorne's crisp and incisive chapters. -- Jack N. Rakove, author of Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution
A timely, erudite, and insightful book that sheds light on issues concerning whether and when contemporary democracies should restrict the practices and beliefs of nonmainstream religious and political groups. It is the best book written on this subject to date. -- Bruce Cain, author of Democracy More or Less: America's Political Reform Quandary
This insightful study will be useful to all who are interested in clarifying their own views of this critical subject. * Choice *

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