Alberto Postigliola

«Those faint glimmers of justice bestowed upon us by nature». Montesquieu, from tolerance to respect

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Montesquieu, Religious toleration, Natural laws, Repect, Dignity.

The aim of this paper is to clarify some aspects of the notion of toleration in Montesquieu. Analysis is conducted mainly on the three books (XXIV, XXV and XXVI) of the fifth part of De l’Esprit des lois, concerning the nexus between religion and legislation. A strong and famous address against intolerance is here included (chap. XXV, 13). It is possible to demonstrate that for Montesquieu toleration is not enough, nor it is possible to be sustained without exceeding the level of relations between the different religions. To attain the level of the natural laws – notwthstanding their uncertainty – becomes strictly necessary.

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