The Expansion of Tolerance

Religion in Dutch Brazil (1624-1654)

Edited by Jonathan Israel and Stuart Schwartz

Edited by Jonathan Israel and Stuart Schwartz

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

With an Introduction by Michiel van Groesen
60 pages | 6-3/4 x 9-1/2 | © 2007
Paper $21.95 ISBN: 9789053569023 Published September 2007 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

Of all the European powers, the Dutch were considered the most tolerant of minority religious practices in their colonies. In The Expansion of Tolerance, a pair of historians examines this unusual sensitivity in the case of the seventeenth-century Dutch colonies of Brazil. 

Jonathan Israel demonstrates that religious tolerance under Dutch rule in Brazil was unprecedented. Catholics and Jews coexisted peacefully with the Protestant majority and were allowed freedom of conscience and unfettered private worship. Stuart Schwartz then considers the Dutch example in light of the Portuguese colonies in Brazil, revealing that the Portuguese were surprisingly tolerant as well. 

This collaboration will be of interest to anyone studying colonial history or the history of religious tolerance.



Michiel van Groesen


Religious Toleration in Dutch Brazil (1624-1654)

Jonathan Israel


Portuguese Attitudes of Religious Tolerance in Dutch Brazil

Stuart B. Schwartz


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