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Religious Freedom

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the extent to which religious freedom, seen in the perspective of the importance of a human-rights culture, is accepted as a crucial value, more specifically by the generation that will lead Dutch society at micro and meso level in the forseeable future. It first considers the development of religious tolerance in the premodern and early modern eras. The chapter examines two eminent writers that already showed signs of tolerance whilst still advocating coercion in respect of certain groups: Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. The chapter turns to John Locke and John Milton, who advocated full-blown tolerance, albeit with some qualifications. The chapter also explores empirically whether and to what extent the three groups of youths (Christian, Muslim and nonreligious) accept religious freedom.

Keywords: Augustine; Dutch society; early modern eras; human rights culture; international public law; John Locke; John Milton; religious freedom; Thomas Aquinas

10.1163/ej.9789004183049.i-473.42
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