Announcement | John Toland (1670-1722) Centenaries Web Project

Announcement | John Toland (1670-1722) Centenaries Web Project

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John Toland (1670-1722)

– Irish-born rationalist philosopher and freethinker –

John Toland (1670-1722)

A new website dedicated to the life and work of the philosopher, John Toland (b. 1670), was launched last Sunday, 11 March (the anniversary of his death in 1722).

John Toland was an Irish-born rationalist philosopher and freethinker of the early Enlightenment period. He made important contributions to the various fields of philosophy – in what today would be regarded as both the natural and social sciences. “If you would know more of him, search his writings,” he wrote in a self-penned epitaph that appeared following his death.

The purpose of of this web-based project is to serve as a free, online resource and repository of knowledge pertaining to Toland, his writings, the times in which he lived and to the social movement that he, along with others, spearheaded and represented, with particular reference to the enduring legacy and effect.

There is a lot that has been said about John Toland and probably a lot more that could be said. This web-based project will serve the purpose of ensuring that nothing that should be said will go unsaid. This is also why we are making the material posted to this website freely available and open to anyone who may wish to contribute. Furthermore, we invite those who may wish to contribute to get in touch with us.

from the website of the John Toland centenaries web project

The unveiling of the website on the anniversary of Toland’s death is not coincidental. In fact, the date has been deliberately chosen, with an eye to the impending 350th anniversary of Toland’s birth, which will be observed on 30 November 2020 and the 300th anniversary of his death that follows less than two years later, in 2022.

John Toland commemoration in his birthplace of Ardagh on the Inishowen peninsula in Co. Donegal

We particularly encourage anyone who has an interest in these anniversaries to get in touch with us, to ensure that they are properly observed and accorded the respect that they are due. We will do our best (without fear or favour) to publicise events that are taking place, using networks and channels of communication within our reach.

John Toland (1670-1722) website is owned and managed by The Manuscript Publisher, an Irish-based publishing services provider who have published, or otherwise made available, several works by or relating to John Toland, including J.N. Duggan’s short biography and critical appraisal, Ireland’s Forgotten Philosopher, Scholar … and Heretic (2010).

This, however, is presented simply as a ‘by-the-way’ and not intended as an advertisement or an endorsement. Furthermore, we welcome correspondence from all authors, publishers, educationalists, historical societies, groups and individuals who might see some aspect of their own interest or remit reflected in this initiative.

People interested in this web project are invited to keep in touch. If you would know more, visit the website. You can also follow on Facebook and on Twitter.

Books by or about …

Reasons for Naturalizing the Jews in Great Britain and Ireland by John Toland (1670-1722)

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Reasons for Naturalizing the Jews in Great Britain and Ireland by John Toland (1670-1722)

Reasons for naturalizing the Jews in Great Britain and Ireland, On the same foot with all other Nations. Containing also A Defence of the Jews against All vulgar Prejudices in all Countries

First published in 1714, shortly after the succession of George I to the British throne, Reasons for Naturalizing the Jews in Great Britain and Ireland is widely seen as a landmark work in the movement for emancipation and equal citizenship of the Jewish people.

While some would argue that the case being presented by Toland is best understood in the context of British political life of the time, it is generally agreed that it represents a remarkable work: one that, in many ways, is well ahead of its time.

Toland's work has been seen as influential on a number of fronts. It shows Toland as a skilled and fearless commentator; one who accepted nothing at face value but always brought an independent mind to bear on any issue he tackled:

"A dog will run at a stone, when he dares not attack the man that threw it."
"I am not ignorant how much the world is governed by prejudices, and how farr some, who wou'd not be counted of the vulgar, are yet sway'd by vulgar errors. ... But one rule of life, which is willingly admitted, nay, and eagerly pleaded by all Societies in their own case (tho miserably neglected in that of others) is, not to impute the faults of a few to the whole number."

The Foreign and Protestants Naturalization Act of 1709 allowed immigrants to claim British citizenship upon swearing an oath of allegiance to the British throne, and taking the sacrament in a Protestant church. In this pamphlet Toland is calling for the same privileges to be extended to the Jews.

This edition of John Toland's pamphlet has been faithfully reproduced from the original with an Introduction, editor's notes and a Chronology of Toland, his life and times. Previously available only in facsimile editions, the text has been reset using a modern typeface but with original spelling, emphasis and formats preserved.

Reasons for Naturalizing the Jews in Great Britain and Ireland by John Toland (1670-1722)
Non fiction, essay, political philosophy, emancipation, civil rights

68 printed pages with black & white facsimile illustrations, paperback
First published in London in 1714. This edition published in Ireland, in 2012, by The Manuscript Publisher.
ISBN: 978-0-9571157-8-1

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