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Natural Law and Toleration in the Early Enlightenment$
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Jon Parkin and Timothy Stanton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265406

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265406.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

John Locke and Natural Law

John Locke and Natural Law

Free Worship and Toleration

(p.59) 4 John Locke and Natural Law
Natural Law and Toleration in the Early Enlightenment

Ian Harris

British Academy

The standard modern view of Locke portrays him as a simulacrum of John Stuart Mill or John Rawls. This chapter decisively shifts the terms in which Locke is understood away from this standard view. It shows that with Locke religious worship is neither private nor optional, and is a matter of duty rather than right primarily — a duty prescribed by natural law. Natural law led Locke to jurisdiction, and, more precisely, to two corresponding jurisdictions, the eccesiastical and civil. The different ends implied in these two jurisdictions and the different ways in which they were established made church and state free from each other's direction. Worship is not tolerated by the state, for the state has no jurisdiction over it; rather, it is free. Conversely the state is required to coerce religious or irreligious groups, whether Roman Catholics or atheists, who undermine the possibility of independent civil and ecclesiastical jurisdictions.

Keywords:   John Locke, natural law, toleration, religion, church and state, jurisdiction, free worship

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