Dr. Brian Kjær Olesen
European University Institute, Firenze, Italy
Stipendium für Aufklärungsforschung
Laufzeit des Stipendiums: 04.10.2016–30.11.2016
Religious Toleration in the Scandinavian Enlightenment
My field of research is the intellectual history of the Scandinavian Enlightenment in its various strands, and the aim of the present project is to explore the role of religious toleration in Scandinavia, its intellectual and theological sources as well as its political ramifications. Focusing, in particular, on the religious and political thought of the Danish-Norwegian writer Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754), the earliest and most prominent advocate of toleration in the Scandinavian Enlightenment, the project aims to show that the theory of toleration offered by Holberg is best understood, not as a reiteration of such canonical early Enlightenment figures as Pierre Bayle or John Locke, but as an exchange between political and moral concepts of toleration. Analysing the role of these two conceptions in the thought of Holberg, the project brings out the intellectual connections between Holberg’s religious and political thinking and such traditions of thought as modern (Pufendorfian) natural law, Lutheranism, and the Arminian Enlightenment.