Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Andrew R. Murphy
Toleration denotes a refusal to impose punitive sanctions for dissent from prevailing norms or policies, a deliberate choice not to interfere with behavior of which one disapproves. As such, toleration may be exhibited by individuals, communities, or governments, and for a variety of reasons, although this entry confines itself largely to toleration as a political concept practiced (or not) by governments. One can find examples of toleration throughout history, but scholars generally locate its modern roots in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century struggles of religious minorities to achieve the right to worship free from state persecution. As such, toleration has long been considered a cardinal virtue of liberal political theory and practice, endorsed by such important thinkers as John Locke, John Stuart Mill, and John Rawls; and it continues to speak to a variety of contemporary political and legal debates, including issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation. This entry The ...