On the project

This research project investigates debates on tolerance, intolerance and discrimination regarding religion. It is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation from 2016 – 2020 and hosted by the Philosophy Department at the University of Lausanne.

It is in philosophy as the main discipline, and it includes collaboration with other disciplines, such as history, theology, religious studies, literary studies, and law.

There are three subprojects in the history of philosophy, analysing central arguments for and against tolerance from rarely studied early modern Reformed sources at the intersection of philosophy and theology. They concern:

  • the Genevan theologian and philosopher Jean-Alphonse Turrettini (1671-1737);
  • debates on tolerance in seventeenth-century Scottish philosophy, with a particular focus on the philosopher James Dundas (c.1620-1679);
  • debates on tolerance in eighteenth-century Scotland and England, including the reception of Turrettini’s writings.

One systematic subproject explores the connections between the well established philosophical concepts of tolerance and intolerance on the one hand, and the more recent notion of discrimination, which is primarily rooted in legal studies, on the other hand.

The historical and the systematic projects are interconnected: clear concepts are crucial for analysing and evaluating arguments in the history of philosophy, and an awareness of historical dimensions and cultural contexts is required for an appropriate discussion of systematic contemporary questions about tolerance, intolerance and discrimination.