Made at UCL


The seminal book which is improving understanding of religious tolerance

Is the story that we tell ourselves in the West about religious tolerance flawed? How can examining the past help us better understand how to coexist? Professor Ben Kaplan’s book Divided by Faith is the go-to source for anyone wanting to improve their understanding of this issue.


Amid fears of growing religious intolerance in today’s modern world, one book has shed light on the truths of how religions live side by side and has been credited with helping human rights organisations to improve their understanding of religious toleration over more than a decade.

Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe, written by Professor Ben Kaplan (UCL History) has been read and discussed by journalists, human rights organisations, churches and universities worldwide since publication in 2007. It is required reading for those wanting to fully understand the realities of conflict and coexistence.
The ideas and evidence demonstrated in Divided by Faith have built a foundation on which human rights organisations have improved their own understanding of religious toleration and built better strategies to overcome intolerance. Humanity in Action, an international human rights organisation, deemed it required reading for its fellowship programmes. The book has also been cited by Tolerance International. 
Ben’s book  demonstrates that religious toleration can be practiced even in very religious societies and reveals the mechanisms of how religious toleration can work in practice in a world without modern western notions of human rights.

Writing in the New York Times, Peter Steinfels said about the book:

At this moment, there may be no more important story than the one Europeans and Americans proudly tell themselves about the rise of religious toleration. So please take note of Benjamin J. Kaplan's argument that the story may be dangerously flawed.