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Toland, John (1670–1722)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-N100-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 11, 2021, from

Article Summary

Deist, freethinker and political republican, the Irishman John Toland’s reputation is closely associated with the radical attack on Christian metaphysics and institutions in the Augustan period. His philosophical achievement was to turn the more erudite thinking of Spinoza, Hobbes and Locke into a popular polemic against the shibboleths of orthodox religious belief. In Christianity Not Mysterious (1696), burnt in Dublin by Parliamentary command in 1697, he exploited and extended the epistemology of Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding into a revision of Christian descriptions of the relationship between faith and knowledge, and a consequent defence of liberty of thought and belief.

Citing this article:
Champion, J.A.I.. Toland, John (1670–1722), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-N100-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2021 Routledge.

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