The inclusion of the Locke-Proast debate provides a crucial piece of the puzzle about how that was done..
Locke's responses are repetitive and initially appear to get him nowhere in countering Proast's objection.
Thus, commentators continue to pose a variety of questions about the nature of Locke's argument(s) for toleration: How limited or powerful is the political domain when wielding tolerant policies?
Does Locke offer a primarily pragmatic defense of this value?
Identity politics in western societies, the collapse of communism, and the resurgence of religious fundamentalism around the world led scholars and the public to focus on sources available for managing, if not solving, deep conflicts.
A new interest in the origins of liberalism and toleration specifically has been the result.
This slim volume in the Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy series brings together Locke's mature writings on toleration.
It includes a new translation of his original famous Letter Concerning Toleration in response to Proast during the course of their debate.
He repeatedly stresses the negative consequences of generalizing a principle of religious coercion across the board; the practices of distant civilizations or other nations are brought in to enlarge the scale comparison. Locke's line of questioning itself for a reasoning person interacting with others who have to deal with hard realities of conflict.
Most importantly, Locke always begins his counter-attacks with the question of the basis of the ruler's legitimacy. Locke explicitly emphasizes that a variety of arguments are needed to construct a defense of toleration.