As religious violence erupts around the world, we often question how people can coexist in peace when their basic religious identities seem irreconcilable. Benjamin J. Kaplan, a historian and professor of Dutch history at University College London, looks for answers in the religious history of early modern Europe, when issues of religious toleration were no less pressing than today.
The standard histories of religious conflict in Europe claim that by the eighteenth century, under the influence of Enlightenment thinkers, Europeans had embraced reason and toleration and turned their backs on religious fervor. In recent years, this textbook version of western history has increasingly been challenged. In this lecture, Benjamin Kaplan will further challenge this view by offering a case study of bitter religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics that persisted far into the eighteenth century.
Much of Kaplan’s research has focused on religious toleration and religious conflict in European history. He is the author of Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe, and Cunegonde's Kidnapping: A Story of Religious Conflict in the Age of Enlightenment. Kaplan's lecture is part of the center’s Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Speaker Series on Religion and Conflict, which honors the lifelong commitment of Maxine and Jonathan Marshall to promoting the arts, education, civil liberties, and world peace.
Cunegonde's Kidnapping: A Story of Religious Conflict in the Age of Enlightenment (Yale University Press, 2014)
Boundaries and Their Meanings in the History of the Netherlands, ed. with Marybeth Carlson and Laura Cruz (Brill, 2009)
Catholic communities in Protestant states: Britain and the Netherlands, c. 1570-1720, ed. with Bob Moore, Henk van Nierop, and Judith Pollmann (Manchester , 2008)
Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe (Harvard University Press, 2007)