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date: 25 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The great scholar and legal thinker John Selden was a subject of contested memory in the politically turbulent years following his death. This article reads the collection Table-Talk as a work of popular constitutional commentary specifically designed to advance, for lay audiences, the scholar’s quasi-Erastian vision of religious toleration and the proper relations between church and state. Selden, in this account, is made legible for all readers as an early voice skeptical of priestcraft and as a leading figure in the doctrines coalescing around the functional separation of church and state in the later seventeenth century.

Keywords: John Selden, popular constitutionalism, toleration, civil religion, Table Talk, 1680s, church and state, Restoration, print culture, cultural memory

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