Evan HaefeliOct 17, 2022
America and the Religious Politics of English Expansion, 1497-1662
University of Chicago Press 2021
Origin stories of the United States often highlight religious freedom as a foundational pillar of the earliest English settlers. But Evan Haefeli tells a more complex story in Accidental Pluralism: America and the Religious Politics of English Expansion, 1497–1662 (University of Chicago Press, 2021). In this ambitious contribution to the origins of American religious tolerance, Haefeli argues that religious diversity was rarely the hoped-for goal of English expansion in the Atlantic. Rather, toleration arose of necessity from the collapse of political control over the English state church in the highly contested landscape of early modern religious conflict.
Your host, Ryan Shelton (@_ryanshelton) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.