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Chapter 7 - Locke and a ‘More Liberal’ Hobbism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 February 2020

Jeffrey R. Collins
Affiliation:
Queen's University, Ontario
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Summary

Chapter 7 examines Locke’s career and reputation from the Glorious Revolution until his death. During this understudied period of his life he emerged as a published author for the first time. His political and religious works were now susceptible to accusations of ‘Hobbism’. Such accusations came at him in varied forms and, because of his continuing habits of authorial anonymity, in many cases only glanced against his politics and theory of toleration. But the chapter offers a close reading of many of these polemical exchanges and reveals surprisingly strong echoes of the Restoration church’s campaign against civil religion and politique toleration. Locke, and informed defenders such as Samuel Bold, understood the fallacy of associating with such features of Restoration ‘Hobbism’. But to the established church, and particularly to the beleaguered high church and purged non-jurors, Locke loomed as part of a radical clique seeking to establish a heretical philosophical freedom under the auspices of sovereign power.

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In the Shadow of Leviathan
John Locke and the Politics of Conscience
, pp. 315 - 359
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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