The Spectacle of Toleration

Learning from the Lively Experiment

A COLLABORATIVE PROJECT LED BY THE NEWPORT HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Extractions from and comments on papers given at this conference (October 2013) can be found on the blog page of this website.

No person shall bee any wise molested: Religious freedom, cultural conflict, and the moral role of the state

A conference,  October 3 – 6, 2013, in Newport and Providence, Rhode Island, organized by the Newport Historical Society, the Rhode Island Historical Society, the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy, Salve Regina University, the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom, the John Carter Brown Library, and Brown University to mark the 350th anniversary of the 1663 Rhode Island Charter.

Conference   locations:

Thursday night: Bazarsky Hall, O’Hare Academic Center, Salve Regina University, Newport, RI 

Friday and Saturday morning: The Pell Center, Young Building, Salve Regina University, Newport, RI

Saturday afternoon and evening: Various locations on the campus of Brown University, Providence, RI. See the published schedule (also at the link below) or go to the John Carter Brown Library for information.

No person shall bee any wise molested features academic panel presentations including 40 paper presentations on topics ranging from politics/law, toleration within history, toleration in modern times, and toleration and freedom within the context of various religions. Presentations will include:

  • “How special was Rhode Island? The Global Context of the 1663 Charter” by Evan Haefeli of ColumbiaUniversity.
  • “The Cult Scare and the Shifting Politics of American Religious Freedom, 1975-1985” by Tisa Wenger of YaleUniversity.
  • “A Free Market for Religion? Toleration, Disestablishment and the ‘Naturalness’ of Religious Pluralism” by Paul Firenze of ProvidenceCollege.

Conference organizers have arranged an all-star line-up of keynote presentations, which are free to the public.

Thursday October 3, 2013 at 7pm: Opening Event: Brian Leiter, Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Chicago will present Toleration: Its Nature and Moral Justification at Salve Regina University’s Bazarsky Lecture Hall. Professor Leiter is the author of Why Tolerate Religion? (Princeton University Press 2013). He is the Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values. He teaches and writes primarily in the areas of moral, political, and legal philosophy, in both Anglophone and Continental traditions. The presentation will be about the nature of tolerance and about legal protections for religion. Registration is required for this free lecture, which is sponsored by the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom. To register visit: https://brianleiter.eventbrite.com.

Saturday October 5, 2013 from 7pm-9pm: Closing Event: Panel Discussion. The panel consists of Morgan Grefe, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Historical Society, Maura Jane Farrelly from Brandeis University, and Stephen Marini from Wellesley College and will focus on how issues of religious tolerance are playing out in today’s world. This program takes place at the Manning Chapel at Brown University. Registration is required for this free event. To register visit: https://spectacleclosingkeynote.eventbrite.com.

The conference is open to the public. It costs $75 for one day or $150 to attend all three days. For more conference details, or to register, visit: http://www.spectacleoftoleration.org/. The Spectacle of Toleration: Learning from the Lively Experiment is a collaborative project between the Newport Historical Society, the Rhode Island Historical Society, John Carter Brown Library and Brown University, George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom, The Pell Center and Salve Regina University. It is supported by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and the partner institutions.

 This conference is part of The Spectacle of Toleration: Learning from the Lively Experiment, a multi-year project that aims to open up an international conversation about toleration and religious freedom. In addition to the academic conference, The Spectacle of Toleration plans to provide several years of public programming.

Conference Schedule / Roster of Presenters