Introduction: religious toleration in the age of enlightenment

Autores: Domínguez Fernández, Juan Pablo
Título de la revista: HISTORY OF EUROPEAN IDEAS
ISSN: 0191-6599
Volumen: 43
Número: 4
Páginas: 273 - 287
Fecha de publicación: 2017
This article is an introduction to a special issue on `Religious Toleration in the Age of Enlightenment¿. It begins by characterizing the Enlightenment's attitude towards religion as an opposition to bigotry and ecclesiastic authority based on a particular interpretation of the European Wars of Religion. Then it acknowledges the problematic nature of the phrase `Age of Enlightenment¿, which seems to push some of the most relevant eighteenth-century realities to the margins of history. Next, it challenges some common scholarly assumptions regarding Enlightenment ideas on tolerance. In particular, it disputes that these ideas were essentially principled, secular, pluralist and liberal. By way of conclusion, this introductory article suggests that the Enlightenment's main contribution to the history of toleration is found not in the originality or subtlety of its ideas, but rather in the promotion of a new mentality according to which toleration came to be regarded as an essential feature of modern civilization.