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All Can Be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberian Atlantic World
All Can Be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberian Atlantic World
Stuart B. Schwartz
Yale University Press, 2008
352 pp., $52.50

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Carlos Eire


Tolerant Propositions

Pluralism side-by-side with the Inquisition.

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Oddly enough, this book about deviance has much to teach those who see themselves as anything but deviant. St. Augustine and many other a Christian thinker from the so-called Age of Faith would have appreciated what this book argues: that individuals have always been capable of questioning authority, and that belief can never be enforced. Of course they would have probably read a theological lesson into it concerning original sin and free will, and the need for salvation, as would have many of the inquisitors who haunt this book.

"Scholars do not usually approach the history of toleration from the bottom up," says Schwartz. We should all be very glad that he has done so.

1. www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=359

2. Carlo Ginzburg, The Cheese and the Worms [1976], translated by Anne and John Tedeschi (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1980). For a critique of Ginzburg's quantitative leap, see Paola Zambelli, "Uno, due, mille Menocchio?", Archivio storico italiano, Vol. 136 (1979), pp. 51-90.

3. William Christian, Jr., Apparitions in Late Medieval and Renaissance Spain (Princeton Univ. Press, 1981).

Carlos Eire is Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University. The author most recently of Waiting for Snow in Havana (Free Press), he is currently writing a survey history of the Reformation and researching attitudes toward miracles in the 16th and 17th centuries.

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