“None Are Tolerated”

Chris Beneke

in Beyond Toleration

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780195305555
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784899 | DOI:
  “None Are Tolerated”

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This chapter details the end of exclusive religious establishments and the birth of a more civil religious climate in America. As the Revolution neared, the ideal of “religious liberty” assumed prominence. At the same time, the traditional ideal of toleration was rejected by those whose ancestors would have gladly received it. Voluminous newspaper and pamphlet disputes over a colonial Anglican bishop and the campaigns for religious liberty in Virginia, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania revealed the contours of a new cultural environment. In the integrated religious setting of pre-revolutionary America, harsh language itself could seem like a violation of religious liberty. With a much larger range of groups participating freely in the discussion of public problems, the scope of injury was widened to include the intangible slights that once would have gone unnoticed. The end of toleration left revolutionary-era Americans with the challenging task of articulating their differences through inoffensive rhetoric.

Keywords: religious establishments; religious liberty; Virginia; Massachusetts; Pennsylvania; language; rhetoric

Chapter.  18488 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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