This book explores the life, thought and political commitments of the free-thinker John Toland (1670–1722). Studying both his private archive and published works, it illustrates how he moved in both subversive and elite political circles in England and abroad. The book explores the connections between Toland's republican political thought and his irreligious belief about Christian doctrine, the ecclesiastical establishment and divine revelation, arguing that far from being a marginal and insignificant figure, he counted queens, princes and government ministers as his friends and political associates. In particular, Toland's intimate relationship with the Electress Sophia of Hanover saw him act as a court philosopher, but also as a powerful publicist for the Hanoverian succession. The book argues that he shaped the republican tradition after the Glorious Revolution into a practical and politically viable programme, focused not on destroying the monarchy but on reforming public religion and the Church of England. It also examines how Toland used his social intimacy with a wide circle of men and women (ranging from Prince Eugene of Savoy to Robert Harley) to distribute his ideas in private. The book explores the connections between his erudition and print culture, arguing that his intellectual project was aimed at compromising the authority of Christian ‘knowledge’ as much as the political power of the Church. Overall, it illustrates how Toland's ideas and influence impacted upon English political life between the 1690s and the 1720s.
towards the Palestinian side’ (Bronstein 2005a:
See Gideon Levy (2009) on the Israeli courtphilosopher Prof Assa Kasher, ‘koshering’ the
Gaza war atrocities.
See, e.g., Shlaim in The Guardian, www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israelpalestine, Pappe in Electronic Intifada, http://electronicintifada.net/v2/ article10100.shtml,
Loshitzky in Electronic Intifada, http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10119.shtml, and
Yiftachel in YNet, www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340, L-3652051,00.html. See also On The
Left Side, www.on-the-left-side.co.il/ (all last
noted the impact of Blond’s essay on red Toryism: ‘It was
an immediate sensation. A Blairite think tank, Demos, put him in charge of a Red Tory
project. He was feted around town as King Dave’s courtphilosopher, an exciting intellectual with a knack for pithy phrases and the paradoxical conceits beloved of headline writers (Red Tory chief among them) who could both explain and flesh out all that Cameron
stuff about the post-bureaucratic age’ (Brogan, 2010).
It may have been this commitment that forced Cameron to throw his support behind calls
for same-sex marriage. If
spirit, but once he
died he was neither.
The queen enjoyed the philosophical debates between Toland and Leibniz,
ﬁrst in person and then in correspondence, and requested that Leibniz respond.
There was more at stake for Leibniz than answering this royal desire. He
hoped to accompany the Hanoverians to England should they succeed to
the throne, and, what is more, he desired to maintain his position as courtphilosopher. Should Sophia Charlotte or her mother, the electress, believe
what Toland was telling them, which was the antithesis of Leibniz’s own
views, the German
carrying Islam from Morocco to faraway Indonesia. In the process, they overran the
Byzantine and Persian empires, then crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to Iberia, and there
they fashioned a brilliant civilisation that stood as a rebuke to the intolerance of the
European states to the north. Cordoba and Granada were adorned and exalted in the
Arab imagination. Andalusia brought together all that the Arabs favored – poetry,
glamorous courts, philosophers who debated the great issues of the day.
If Islam’s rise was spectacular, its fall was swift and