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The Long Truce: How Toleration Made the World Safe for Power and Profit Hardcover – April 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Spence Publishing Company; 2 edition (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890626368
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890626365
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,273,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Conyers (theology, Baylor Univ.; How To Read the Bible) examines the philosophy of toleration and its application through history, tracing the path of this rarely questioned principle to its current place in our culture and government. By examining the concept of tolerance as viewed by Thomas Hobbes, Pierre Bayle, John Locke, and others, he shows that, historically, toleration has existed in groups and societies that had moral purposes and a conscience. Whereas toleration had historically been group related, now we see individual personal preference as a major basis for toleration. Conyers contends that as a public policy tolerance is used to lay the ground for peace and harmony, but instead of protecting minority groups, it allows for the centralization of power and indifference to values. Conyers believes that there is a need, in humility, to recover God's overall purpose of "telos," a morality that recognizes final causes. This thought-provoking study is recommended for academic libraries. George Westerlund, formerly with the Providence P.L.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Conyers is a professor at Baylor University's Truett Theological Seminary and the author of The End: What Jesus Really Said about the Last Things (1995) and How to Read the Bible (1986). He now considers the concept of toleration and contends that the developing nation-states of the seventeenth century transformed toleration from an ancient and universal practice based on humility to a strategy for governing and controlling increasingly diverse populations. The result, he charges, is that differences between cultures become minimized and that the influence of an individual culture that claims a universal validity such as religion becomes neutralized. Both conditions pave the way for a central government to extend its power. As nations assumed responsibility for trade, manufactures, banking, monetary policy, education of the young, and public welfare, the family and religion lost dignity, independence, and authority. Conyers analyzes the philosophical arguments of Thomas Hobbes, Pierre Bayle, and John Locke to show that the rise of toleration was not coincidental to the rise of the nation-state but rather a necessary condition. David Rouse
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on April 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
We live in an age where virtues have become vices, and vices have become virtues. What most societies shuttered at just decades ago is now paraded and promoted, especially by popular culture. And the old virtues, like faithfulness in marriage, truth-telling, humility and concern for others, are now mocked and derided as hopelessly out of date.
The old virtues have all but disappeared. But there is one "virtue" that has risen to the top of the charts. There is one word that is heard constantly and incessantly: "tolerance". We are to tolerate everyone and everything. All points of view and all lifestyles are to be tolerated.
Yet as this revealing study makes clear, the modern notion of tolerance is far removed from what it traditionally has always meant. The recent concept of tolerance is a perversion of its former self, being the polar opposite to its original meaning.
Today we have managed to turn tolerance into a virtue or a doctrine. It used to be a practice or a habit. It used to be based on the way we treated one another. Today it is a an ism promoted by the state for its own ends. It used to be seen as a means to an end. Today it is treated as an end in itself.
In the past, you tolerated someone, treated them with respect, even though you might violently disagree with their beliefs or their lifestyle. Today, to tolerate someone means you must also embrace their philosophy, their worldview, their lifestyle. That is a big difference.
In this historical and philosophical inquiry, Conyers examines how the concept of tolerance has changed over the last few centuries. He argues that its redefinition emerged at the same time as the modern nation state arose.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In The Long Truce: How Toleration Made The World Safe For Power And Profit, A.J. Conyers (professor at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University, Waco, Texas) reveals how the new, comprehensive, jealous, and demanding nation-states of early modern Europe propagated a novel version of toleration based on indifference to all values other than political power and material prosperity. By dissolving the loyalties that had previously bound European men to their church, family, and other intermediate institutions, toleration produced the modern "bi-polar society" in which the isolated citizen confronts the unmediated power of the state. In its modern form, toleration evolved not as a virtue, but as a strategy for the relentless imposition of secularism in the service of power and profit. Original, scholarly, fascinating, iconoclastic, Professor Conyers' The Long Truce is stimulating, informative, iconoclastic, "reader friendly", and a very highly recommended addition to any personal or academic reading list or reference collection in European social history, economic history, and political development.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The subject is tolerance. What does the doctrine of tolerance mean, from what intellectual sources does this doctrine derive, what are the unintended consequences of tolerance? A.J. Conyers weaves an intriguing story around these questions. I recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding how a great-sounding idea like tolerance can run amuck.
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