In the Early Modern era, this
the issue of religious tolerance and political authority emerged in the
wake of the religious violence
of the Reformation era. The issue
of tolerance (religious and
political) is not new, yet was given new weight in
this period by various thinkers and philosophes
and whether this contributed to political order and
harmony. Absolutist rulers and their
argued that social order and harmony was maintained
when all the ruler’s subjects were of one
faith, while philosophes
argued that social and political harmony was best maintained
through a
policy of tolerance.
In your paper address the following points and
provide quotes and details in support:
Ø What
was the position and arguments made by Absolutist rulers and the defenders of Absolutism? Discuss two of the arguments made. How did Absolutist rulers try to achieve
religious uniformity? Were they
successful? Discuss two examples.
Ø Baruch
Spinoza advocated for a free state that allowed for tolerance of religious
opinion. Discuss Spinoza’s views and how
they contrasted with those of the Absolutists.
Provide quotes and details.
Ø What
is the impetus for Voltaire to take on the cause of Toleration? Discuss the
background and context of the Calas case.
According to Voltaire, how did the Religious Wars of the Reformation play
a role in creating intolerance?
Ø Voltaire
uses historical examples to support his case that religious tolerance makes for
harmonious societies. What historical
examples and arguments does Voltaire use in relation to the Greeks and the Romans? Discuss two.
What arguments does Voltaire make that shows that the Hebrews and early
Christians were tolerant? Discuss two.
Ø What
does Voltaire argue are the conditions that allow for intolerance? What are the consequences when Toleration breaks
down? Do you find yourself agreeing or
disagreeing with Voltaire on his idea of Universal Toleration? Why?
Why not?

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