On Religious Toleration
University of Arizona
May 27th, 2004, 8:00 to 9:30 pm
The ideal of religious toleration is one of the original inspirations for modern liberal democratic thought. And it is certainly one of the most urgent subjects we must think about today. Yet the reasons for religious toleration and its connection with liberal thought are not very well understood to this day. In this lecture, we will discuss the ethical ideas that have been traditionally thought to underpin religious toleration. These ideas fail to give a cogent rationale for much of what we think of as religious toleration. Once we have fully explored the puzzle of religious toleration, we will discuss some ways of making sense of it.
Thomas Christiano is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Law at the University of Arizona. He will be a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford in the Fall of 2004. He is currently finishing a book on the foundations of democracy and constitutionalism. He has written a number of papers on issues of distributive justice, democratic theory and political moral philosophy. And he has published The Rule of the Many (Boulder: Westview Press, 1996).