Jason Jewell on John Locke & Religious Toleration
Date: December 5th, 2011

John Locke is a name that comes up frequently on our podcast when discussing religious liberty and toleration.  To find out more about this great philosopher and political economist, we invite Prof. Jason Jewell to our program to enlighten us as to the life, times, and philosophy of Locke.  Jason is the chair of the Department of Humanities at Faulkner University (Alabama) and the creator of The Western Traditon, a blog that is devoted to all things Christian and Classical.  We begin our chat by setting the historical table on which Locke was feasting, covering the important events occuring in England and Europe during the 17th century, including the English Civil War, Cromwell’s Commonwealth and the Glorious Revolution.  We then discuss Locke’s general intellectual contributions to Western civilization and contrast him to another famed philosopher of the 1600s, Thomas Hobbes.  Our discussion then leads to Locke’s (First) Letter Concerning Toleration, which Tony admits to being the longest “letter” he has ever read.  Jason explains that since they didn’t have television or football back then, intellectuals usually spent their time writing.  We look into Locke’s thoughts on whether or not individuals can be coerced into their faith and how this affects Locke’s view of church-state relations, followed by Locke’s views on religious toleration in an environment of increasing pluralism.  Tony pushes Prof. Jewell on the issue of Locke’s toleration as it related to Catholics and how Locke may have viewed Mormons had he lived today.  (Hat tip to Prof. Ruth Arnell, an avid listener, for suggesting that question on our Facebook page.)  We wrap up by reviewing what Jason has been doing at Faulkner University and on his blog, The Western Tradition, as it pertains to the canonical readings of Western literature.  Jason disappoints Tony by indicating that The Political Origins of Religious Liberty did not make the list of all-time classics.  Listeners are encouarged to join Jason Jewell’s journey as he tackles several thousand pages of reading.  Recorded: November 22, 2011.


The Western Tradition, Jason Jewell’s blog where he is reading and reviewing the great works of Western literature.

Prof. Jewell’s specific post on John Locke on The Western Tradition.

Faulkner University.


Allen Hertzke on Religious Liberty.

Mark David Hall on Roger Sherman, Puritan Patriot.

Roger Finke on Religious Persecution.

5 Responses to “Jason Jewell on John Locke & Religious Toleration”

  1. […] Jason Jewell on John Locke and Religious Toleration. […]

  2. […] with Christianity, but several episodes have focused on Judaism, Islam, and eastern religions. I had the chance to be on the podcast once and had a great time. I invariably find the interviews extremely […]

  3. […] Jason Jewell on John Locke and Religious Toleration. […]

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