Jack Turner, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington discussed "John Locke, Christian Mission, and Colonial America".
John Locke was considerably interested and actively involved in the promotion of Protestant Christianity among American Indians and African slaves, yet this fact goes largely unremarked in Locke scholarship. The evidence of this interest and involvement deserves analysis - for it illuminates fascinating and understudied features of Lockeʼs theory of toleration and his thinking on American Indians, African slaves, and English colonialism. These features include (1) the compatibility between toleration and Christian mission, (2) the interconnection between Christian mission and English geopolitics, (3) the co-existence of ameliorative and exploitative strands within Lockeʼs stance on African slavery, and (4) the spiritual imperialism of Lockeʼs colonial vision. Analyzing old and new evidence of Lockeʼs interest and involvement in Christian mission, this article brings fully to light a dimension of Lockeʼs career that has barely been noticed, refreshing our understanding of Lockeʼs theory of toleration and his participation in English colonialism.
Jack Turner is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. His articles on Tocqueville, Emerson, Thoreau, and Ellison have appeared in Political Theory, Raritan, and Polity. He is working on a book entitled Awakening to Race: Individualism and Social Consciousness in the American Tradition. He is also the editor of A Political Companion to Henry David Thoreau (2009).