The Limits of Tolerance. Enlightenment Values and Religious Fanaticism - Denis Lacorne


New York, Columbia University Press, 2019, 296 p.

The modern notion of tolerance—the welcoming of diversity as a force for the common good—emerged in the Enlightenment in the wake of centuries of religious wars. First elaborated by philosophers such as John Locke and Voltaire, religious tolerance gradually gained ground in Europe and North America. But with the resurgence of fanaticism and terrorism, religious tolerance is increasingly being challenged by frightened publics. In this book, Denis Lacorne traces the emergence of the modern notion of religious tolerance in order to rethink how we should respond to its contemporary tensions. In a wide-ranging argument that spans the Ottoman Empire, the Venetian republic, and recent controversies such as France’s burqa ban and the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, The Limits of Tolerance probes crucial questions: Should we impose limits on freedom of expression in the name of human dignity or decency? Should we accept religious symbols in the public square? Can we tolerate the intolerant? While acknowledging that tolerance can never be entirely without limits, Lacorne defends the Enlightenment concept against recent attempts to circumscribe it, arguing that without it a pluralistic society cannot survive. Awarded the Prix Montyon by the Académie Française, The Limits of Tolerance is a powerful reflection on twenty-first-century democracy’s most fundamental challenges.

Traduction de l'ouvrage Les frontières de la tolérance paru chez Gallimard (Paris) en octobre 2016.

Autour de la publication

6 octobre 2021
The Secular State and Religious Tolerance
A  conference by Prof. Denis Lacorne, Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion

13 avril 2021
Religious Liberty in France and America: A Constitutional Dialogue
Discussion with Denis Lacorne, National Constitution Center (Philadelphia)

19 janvier 2021
Keynote Address: Religious Tolerance Revisited
Denis Lacorne, Toleration in Comparative Perspective Conference (January 19-23, 2021), UC Berkeley

Entretiens du CERI
23 janvier 2020
¿La tolerancia es política?
Entrevista con Denis Lacorne, por Miriam Périer, Metapolítica

25 avril 2019
Is Tolerance Political?
Interview with Denis Lacorne, by Miriam Périer

18 mars 2021
John R. Williams, Studies in Religion

20 janvier 2020
Journey towards a tolerant society
Uday Balakrishnan, The Hindu Business Line

18 mai 2019
The encouraging history—and ongoing puzzle—of tolerance
The Economist

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