The Expansion of Tolerance: Religion in Dutch Brazil (1624-1654)

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Jonathan Irvine Israel, Stuart B. Schwartz
Amsterdam University Press, 2007 - Religion - 59 pages

Of all the European powers, the Dutch were considered the most tolerant of minority religious practices in their colonies. In The Expansion of Tolerance, a pair of historians examines this unusual sensitivity in the case of the seventeenth-century Dutch colonies of Brazil. 

Jonathan Israel demonstrates that religious tolerance under Dutch rule in Brazil was unprecedented. Catholics and Jews coexisted peacefully with the Protestant majority and were allowed freedom of conscience and unfettered private worship. Stuart Schwartz then considers the Dutch example in light of the Portuguese colonies in Brazil, revealing that the Portuguese were surprisingly tolerant as well. 

This collaboration will be of interest to anyone studying colonial history or the history of religious tolerance.


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About the author (2007)

Jonathan Israel is professor of early modern history in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton and honorary professor at the University of Amsterdam. Stuart Schwartz is the George Burton Adams Professor of History at Yale University.

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