Cholakov, Peter: From Suspicion to Political Right: The Evolution of Locke’s Views on Toleration.

This work analyses the problem of the evolution of John Locke’s ideas on toleration, in particular the grounds of separation of church and state. The first part examines Locke’s arguments regarding the prerogatives of the magistrate towards ‘indifferent things’ and the religious sphere. I distinguish between three stages in the development of Locke’s views on toleration: a suspicion towards the plea for it (the Two Tracts); an implicit non-verbalised distinction between church and state, and support for toleration (An Essay on Toleration); toleration as a political right (A Letter Concerning Toleration, the Two Treatises and the later letters). The second part focuses on the definition of ‘commonwealth’ in A Letter Concerning Toleration. I outline two fundamental sets of interdependent arguments that Locke uses for the separation of church and state. The third part is dedicated to the sphere of the church and the dimensions of the duty of toleration. The relation between Locke’s views on toleration and the political practice explains the shift between the three stages and is explored throughout the paper. Key words: John Locke, toleration, separation of church and state, inclusion and exclusion